America Firm Equinix, a digital infrastructure company, has announced its expansion into Africa through a deal to acquire MainOne, a West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
In a press statement by the American firm, Equinix said the acquisition has an enterprise value of $320 million.
Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, MainOne has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets, including three operational data centers in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire with an additional facility under construction that is expected to open in Q1 2022 in Lekki, Lagos.
The firm also owns and operates a submarine network extending 7,000km from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the West African coast, as well as 1,200km of terrestrial fibre network across the Nigeria states of Lagos, Edo and Ogun.
The facilities, which serve over 800 business-to-business customers, generate approximately $60m annualised revenues, according to a statement announcing the deal.
Under the terms of the deal, MainOne’s management team, including Opeke, will continue to serve in their roles. The team oversees a workforce of around 500 staff.
Globally, Equinix comprises 237 data centres across 65 metros and 27 countries, providing data centre and interconnection services for over 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50 per cent of Fortune 500 companies.
The acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, will add more than 64,000 gross sq ft of space to the firm, with 570,000 sq ft of land for future expansions.
The transaction was expected to be Adjusted Funds from Operations (AFFO) accretive upon close, excluding integration costs, marking the first step in Equinix’s long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company.
Speaking about the planned acquisition, President and CEO, Equinix, Charles Meyers, said: “The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing African market.
“MainOne’s leading interconnection position and experienced management team represent critical assets in our aspirations to be the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure in Africa. “Growth of data consumption in Africa is amongst the fastest in the world, and our customers are looking for a trusted partner to pursue the opportunities presented by broad mobile adoption and greater connectivity across the region.
“MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem and operating capability will extend the reach of Platform Equinix and bolster opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world.
“Upon closing, these facilities will add more than 64,000 gross square feet of space to Platform Equinix, with 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions”, Equinix said in a statement
“These are all improving connectivity to and from Europe, West African countries and the major business communities in Nigeria. When completed, this acquisition will extend Platform Equinix into West Africa, giving organisations based inside and outside of Africa access to one of the world’s fastest growing markets.”
The President, EMEA, Equinix, Eugene Bergen also said the expansion in Africa, “has long been a strategic priority for us. With MainOne, we have found a company that not only has highly complementary data center and connectivity assets, but can further accelerate the expansion of our business model and growth objectives.”
“CEO Funke Opeke and her team have built a powerful and dynamic infrastructure that will enable international customers’ access to the continent and African organisations access to the global Equinix platform.
“Customers can take full advantage of Equinix’s leading global interconnection services to connect with customers and partners, participate in rich digital ecosystems and expand their business across Africa and around the world”, he added.
Reacting to the acquisition, Opeke said, “Equinix will accelerate our long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa. I thank our founding shareholders led by Mr. Fola Adeola, MainStreet Technologies, AFC, PAIDF, FBN, Polaris and AfDB for investing in the MainOne vision to bridge the Digital Divide in Africa.
“With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built-in twelve years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey. The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together.”