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Equinix enters Africa, closing US$320 million acquisition of MainOne

Equinix has announced it has completed its deal to acquire West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider MainOne for an enterprise value of US$320M, marking the beginning of its expansion into the African continent.

The completion of the acquisition augments Equinix's long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier-neutral digital infrastructure company by being able to bring a full range of transformative technologies and connectivity to Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.

This acquisition will extend Platform Equinix into West Africa, giving organisations based inside and outside of Africa access to global and regional markets. Nigeria has both the largest population and the largest economy of any country in Africa, with approximately 142 million active internet subscribers. Home to new innovative digital ecosystems in fintech and content and digital media, it has great opportunity for expansion of digital services.

Equinix believes MainOne, headquartered in Lagos, to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa, and Lagos is rapidly becoming a key connectivity hub for the wider West Africa region. Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets, including three operational data centres, with an additional facility in Lagos expected to open in April 2022.

MainOne's assets include:

  • Four operational data centres, which will add more than 64,000 gross square feet of space to Platform Equinix, in addition to 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions.
  • An extensive submarine network extending 7,000 kilometres from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the West African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Cte d'Ivoire.
  • A terrestrial network of more than 1,200 kilometres of reliable terrestrial fibre in Lagos, Edo and Ogun States. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 points of presence (PoPs) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.
  • Access to key internet exchanges enabling low latency to key global networks, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook.
  • An estimated 800+ business-to-business customers, including major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers.
  • Nearly 500 employees and a management team with a deep understanding of local and international markets.

MainOne will operate under a new brand "MainOne, an Equinix company".

The facilities currently generate approximately US$60M annualised (Q2'21LQA) revenue with a purchase multiple of approximately 14x EBITDA.

Globally, Platform Equinix is comprised of 240 data centres across 66 metros and 27 countries on 6 continents, providing data centre and interconnection services to 10,000+ companies including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.

Closure of the MainOne acquisition marks the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions for the world's digital infrastructure company.

Following the announcement of intent to acquire MainOne in December 2021, Equinix recently announced expansions in South America with its intended acquisition of three Entel data centres to accelerate digital transformation opportunities for local businesses and multinational companies. Both acquisitions followed announcements to acquire 13 Bell data centres in Canada and two highly interconnected data centres in Mumbai through the acquisition of GPX India in October 2020 and September 2021, respectively.

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