We’re not even halfway through 2017, and it’s already shaping up as a landmark year for consolidation in the data center industry. The June 9 megamerger between Digital Realty and DuPont Fabros Technology is the largest in a flurry of deals that are likely to make it the most active year ever for data center M&A.
What’s driving the M&A boom? Cloud infrastructure has been a star performer on Wall Street, attracting interest from new investors. This has created opportunity for providers in growth mode, who are expanding their geographic footprint and service offerings. Investor interest has also created opportunity for established companies seeking an exit opportunity.
Here’s a recap of the deals thus far in 2017, which include corporate acquisitions as well as purchases of data center facilities.
Iron Mountain Acquires FORTRUST: On July 28, Iron Mountain expanded its network with its first data center acquisition, paying $128 million to buy Denver-based FORTUST and its 210,000 square foot facility, with has 9 megawatts of leased space and 7 MW of expansion capacity.
Carter Validus Buys Data Centers in Sunnyvale, Cincinnati: Carter Validus continus its acquisitive ways, paying $36.8 million for a 76,500 square foot fully-leased facility in Sunnyvale, and buying a three-story, 58,000 SF data center in Cincinnati for $10.3 million. The Cincinnati site is 100% leased by a “global investment-grade technology company.”
Peak 10 Buys ViaWest From Shaw Communications: Peak 10 acquired ViaWest from parent company Shaw Communications in a $1.675 billion all-cash transaction announced June 13. The deal brings together two experienced regional players to create a national data center network covering 20 markets from coast to coast. Charlotte-based Peak 10 provides colocation and managed services in the Southeast, while ViaWest has built a network of data centers on the West coast.
Digital Realty Acquires DuPont Fabros Technology: In a blockbuster deal announced June 9, Digital Realty will acquire one of its oldest and largest rivals, DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT), in a $7.6 billion transaction that will boost its ability to serve the fast-growing hyperscale market. The merger creates a cloud colossus with 26 million square feet of data center space, and provides the new Digital Realty with clear leadership in the two hottest markets: Northern Virginia and Chicago.
Carter Validus Purchases Charlotte Data Center: On May 25, Carter Validus Mission Critical REIT spent $16.4 to acquire a data center in Charlotte, N.C. The facility is fully leased to an IT provider, and is about 60,000 square feet. Carter Validus is a non-traded REIT that focuses on the data center and healthcare sectors, often buying fully leased properties and keeping the tenant in place.
Carter Validus Buys Connecticut Data Center: Just days earlier, Carter Validus announced the purchase of a 75,000 square foot data center in Norwalk, Ct. from Fortis Property Group for about $58.9 million on May 17. The property is fully-leased to CyrusOne, which acquired initial tenant Cervalis.
Cyxtera Takes Over CenturyLink Data Centers: On May 2, Medina Capital and BC Partners closed their previously announced deal to acquire CenturyLink’s data center portfolio. The $2.8 billion deal created Cyxtera, a new provider with 57 data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, spanning more than 2.6 million square feet of mission-critical space. Cyxtera’s leadership team includes many alumni of Terremark, which CEO Manuel Medina founded and grew into a leading player in cloud computing before it was acquired by Verizon in 2011.
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Green House Data Expands With Cirracore Acquisition: Colocation and cloud hosting provider Green House Data continued to build its national footprint with the April 27 acquisition of Cirracore, an Atlanta-based infrastructure provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and hybrid cloud products. The deal brings Green House Data a strong presence in the Southeast, including a presence inside two Equinix facilities in Atlanta.
Investor Group Acquires 365 Data Centers: On April 26, 365 Data Centers said it is being acquired by a group of investors including Chirisa Investments, Lumerity Capital and Longboat Advisors. The deal includes eight data centers with a strong base of carrier and content customers, including facilities in Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, New York and Tampa.
Vantage Data Centers Bought by Digital Bridge: Santa Clara-based wholesale specialist Vantage Data Centers was acquired by a consortium of investors led by Digital Bridge Holdings, which sees the purchase as the first step in a larger expansion into the wholesale data center industry. Digital Bridge has partnered with Canada’s PSP Investments and TIAA Investments, while the seller was the private equity firm Silver Lake, which created Vantage in 2010. The deal was announced on March 27.
Equinix Acquires IO London Data Center: Equinix is acquiring UK’s data center operating business in Slough, the company said on Feb. 10. The facility, which will be renamed LD10, is just around the corner from Equinix’s existing data center campus in Slough, a major data center hub about 20 miles west of London.
CyrusOne Acquires Sentinel Facilities: On Feb. 6, wholesale specialist CyrusOne expanded into the Southeastern U.S. with the purchase of two facilities from Sentinel Data Centers. The $490 million transaction includes large facilities in Raleigh, North Carolina and Somerset, New Jersey which both have room for expansion.
Stonepeak Infrastructure Buys Cologix: Colocation provider Cologix was acquired by private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in a Feb. 3 deal highlighting investor interest in interconnection services in regional markets. Stonepeak says it is investing $500 million to accelerate the growth of the Cologix platform, which is focused on second-tier cities and includes a presence in leading markets in Canada.
H5 Acquires Cleveland Data Center From ByteGrid: Denver-based H5 Data Centers acquired the Cleveland Technology Center in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The 333,215 square foot data center was previously owned by ByteGrid, whose employees working at the site will join H5. ByteGrid and H5 pursue a similar strategy, seeking opportunistic deals for buildings with existing tenants and an “upside” of space for development.
DataBank Buys Cleveland, Pittsburgh Sites from 365: What’s up with Cleveland? In the month’s second deal in the Ohio city, Digital Bridge Holdings’ DataBank unit acquired data centers in Cleveland and Pittsburgh from 365 Data Centers. Digital Bridge has raised over $6.3 billion of debt and equity capital used to acquire and invest in the development of communications infrastructure businesses. The deal came just 11 days after DataBank’s most recent acquisition …
DataBank Buys C7 Data Centers: On Jan. 17 DataBank acquired C7 Data Centers, which has built a niche as the leading colocation provider in Salt Lake City. C7’s three interconnected data centers in the Utah market become DataBank’s first footprint in western US. It’s possible that DataBank owner Digital Bridge is just getting started, as it is reported to be working on a deal to acquire Vantage Data Centers
Redbird Capital Invests in Compass: Private equity firm Redbird Capital and the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund are the new investment team, with Compass founder and CEO Chris Crosby and the management team retaining an equity stake and continuing to head the company’s operations. Redbird is also an investor in Tierpoint, which like Compass has focused on building data centers in secondary markets across the U.S. Compass recently began building a data center for Tierpoint in Dallas. Just two weeks after the investment, TierPoint announced that Compass would build a $20 million expansion at its Nashville campus, where Compass built the first data center for Windstream (which was subsequently acquired by TierPoint).
QTS Acquires Dallas Dallas Data Center: As we’ve previously noted, QTS Realty has become the master of the Internet-scale retrofit, finding former industrial facilities with sturdy infrastructure and transforming them into massive data centers. It has applied this template to an expansion of its Dallas footprint, investing $50 million to buy a 260,000 square foot data center in Fort Worth from insurer Health Care Services Corp. The existing building has 8 megawatts of power, but the property can accommodate another 60 MW of capacity.
Central Colo Enters Northern Virginia Market: The colocation provider acquired the Tyson Technology Center in Vienna, with an affiliate buying the building from the Meridian Group for $96 million. The property consists of a 200,000-square foot Tier 3 data center and an 80,000-square foot office building, and is 75 percent leased. The acquisition comes just four months after Central Colo unveiled new expansion-minded investors in Safanad Capital, a global investment firm, and San Francisco private equity firm Industry Capital.
Carter Validus Buys NaviSite Boston Site: Carter Validus paid $37 million to acquire a 153,000 square foot facility in Andover, Mass. , which is fully occupied by managed hosting provider NaviSite. The deal aligns with the Carter Validus strategy of acquiring leased data centers and healthcare facilities.
Peak 10 Buys Louisville Data Center: Peak 10 was an early player in the second-tier data center market, building out a network of colocation facilities in the Southeastern U.S. Under new CEO Chris Downie, who previously led Telx, Peak 10 appears to be entering a new phase of deal-driven growth to build upon its strength in regional markets. On Jan. 9 the company bought a 33,000 square foot facility that doubled its footprint in Louisville.