CoreSite and CyrusOne announced acquisition deals the same morning. (Images: Rich Miller, CyrusOne)
In one morning, the list of the largest data center deals was recreated, with new entries at the top to reflect today’s acquisitions of CyrusOne and CoreSite. The previous top mention, the $10 billion buyout of QTS Realty Trust by Blackstone Infrastructure Partners, took place earlier this year.
These types of major mergers and acquisitions were among the trends DCF highlighted in our 2021 forecast (Eight trends shaping the data center in 2021), in which we forecast “a big year for data center mergers and acquisitions, including some larger transactions.”
These merger agreements continue to reshape the digital infrastructure landscape, enabling industry leaders to grow faster while creating new operating platforms. The current round of mergers and acquisitions and consolidation has been going on for about five years, amid a historic influx of investor capital for digital infrastructure. Acquisitions can achieve a number of objectives in a company’s growth trajectory.
The billion-dollar transactions
Here’s a look at the M&A action over the past five years, through the lens of multibillion-dollar transactions where the sale price has been made public. This list is not exhaustive as a number of major mergers and acquisitions involving private companies are not included, the sale price of which has not been disclosed.
- $15 billion: Investment giants KKR and Global Infrastructure Partners to acquire data center developer CyrusOne for $15 billion, selling the company
- $10.1 billion: American Tower Corporation buys data center developer CoreSite for $10.1 billion, taking a bold step in the data center business. American Tower is the world’s largest owner of wireless infrastructure.
- $10 billion: Blackstone Infrastructure Partners to acquire QTS Realty Trust (pending, 2021)
- $8.4 billion: Digital Realty will acquire European data center specialist Interxion in 2019, adding scale in Europe and triggering a sharper focus on interconnection services.
- $7.8 billion: Digital Realty buys wholesale rival DuPont Fabros Technology in 2017, giving it a dominant position in Ashburn, the largest hyperscale market.
- $5.3 billion: In the data center industry’s first SPAC deal, GS Acquisition Holdings acquires data center equipment supplier Vertiv. As a publicly traded company, Vertiv’s shares have skyrocketed since the 2020 deal to boost the company’s market value to $9.75 billion.
- $3.8 billion: Equinix is expanding into Europe in a huge way by acquiring TelecityGroup and its 40 data centers and 1,000 net new customers (2016).
- $3.6 billion: In 2016, Equinix will acquire a portfolio of 24 Verizon data centers, including the strategic NAP of the Americas facility in Miami.
- $3.4 billion: In a 2021 SPAC deal, Starboard Value Acquisition Corp. Cyxtera. which becomes a limited liability company.
- $2.8 billion: In 2016, CenturyLink sold 57 data centers to Medina Capital Management and BC Partners, who will use the facilities to create Cyxtera.
- $1.7 billion: In an East Meets West deal between regional players, Peak Ten buys ViaWest, leading to the creation of a new national network, renamed Flexential.
- $1.3 billion: Mapletree Industrial Trust of Singapore acquires a portfolio of 29 data centers from Sila Realty Trust (formerly Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT), boosting Mapletree’s presence in the US data center market.
- $1.3 billion: In 2017, Iron Mountain makes the largest of a series of acquisitions, acquiring IO Data Centers.
- $1.1 billion: Evoque Data Center Solutions was formed from the acquisition of a $1.1 billion portfolio of 31 AT&T colocation centers by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (2019).
What’s missing? The private transactions with the size and strategic impact to make the list likely include Digital Bridge’s acquisition of Vantage Data Centers, the EQT Infrastructure deal to buy EdgeConneX, Macquarie’s majority investment in Aligned, and the two-step acquisition of RagingWire. Data Centers by NTT Communications.
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