Equinix, GIC to Form $1B-Plus Data Center JV

The U.S. data center company and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund strike a deal for their second mega-joint venture.

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Global data center company Equinix and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, have agreed to form an initial joint venture worth more than $1 billion to develop and operate data centers in Japan.

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The limited liability partnership’s three initial facilities, two in Tokyo and one in Osaka, will serve the core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world’s largest cloud service providers. Upon completion, these three xScale data centers will total about 138 MW of power capacity.

GIC will own an 80 percent equity interest in the partnership and Equinix will own the remaining 20 percent. The venture is expected to close in the second half, pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions.

On closing, GIC is expected to have contributed cash to fund its 80 percent equity interest. Equinix is expected to have transferred to the joint venture its Tokyo TY12 and Osaka OS2 development assets, along with development rights and land for an additional data center in Tokyo, in return for the 20 percent equity interest and net cash proceeds exceeding $100 million.

Financing is anticipated to consist of a delayed-draw term loan facility and a revolving credit facility. Proceeds from the former are expected to fund a portion of the consideration paid to Equinix, as well as to fund a portion of the planned development and construction costs for the Japanese assets.

Citi was the exclusive financial advisor to Equinix for the transaction. An Equinix spokesperson was unable to provide Commercial Property Executive with requested additional information.

In an Equinix blog post, Jeremy Deutsch, the company’s president/Asia Pacific, noted that the three xScale data centers in Tokyo and Osaka will provide badly needed geographic redundancy for business continuity and disaster recovery. Equinix is already one of Japan’s top data center providers, with 13 facilities there.

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Jabez Tan, head of research for independent consultants Structure Research, commented that the demand for data center capacity in the Tokyo and Osaka markets has outstripped supply.

Last July, Equinix and GIC launched its xScale brand, facilities with capacities beyond those of Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, as part of a similarly structured $1 billion-plus joint venture to develop hyperscale data centers in Europe. That venture started up with six facilities, in the Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt and Paris metro areas.

On its own, Equinix has been active on multiple continents. In October, it bought three data centers in Mexico for $175 million. In January 2019, the company began work on an IBX data center in Seoul, marking its first facility in South Korea and its 41st in Asia-Pacific.

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