AT&T sells data centre business to Brookfield for $1.1bn
Brookfield Infrastructure has bought all AT&T’s 31 data centres for $1.1 billion, including 13 outside the US.
The move comes a year after Equinix bought 29 data centres from Verizon for $3.6 billion.
Brookfield will put the former AT&T data centres into a new wholly owned company, headed by Tim Caulfield, the founder and CEO of Antara group, an IT management consultancy.
Caulfield set up Antara in 2013. He has previously worked for Cable & Wireless, Savvis and other companies in the data centre business.
AT&T and Brookfield are describing this deal as “a strategic alliance”, and AT&T says it “will continue to deliver network services to its customers” after the data centres are transferred to the new owner.
The data centres have “more than 1,000” customers in “technology, financial, industrial, media retail and other sectors”, said AT&T, which will continue to offer customers access to colocation services at more than 350 data centres, including those it is selling to Brookfield.
AT&T and Brookfield say they will also work under a joint marketing agreement that will enable both companies to participate in sale/resale opportunities to bring customers a full suite of services.
The Toronto-based Brookfield group is also the company expected to buy real estate in New Delhi and Chennai for $110 million from heavily indebted Indian company Reliance Communications (RCom) as part of its break-up.
RCom’s Global Cloud Exchange – which owns worldwide subsea cable, enterprise telecoms in India and an emerging data centre business in Mumbai – is subject to three separate bids from so far unnamed organisations.
Brookfield Infrastructure, quoted on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges, says it has more than $75 billion in assets under management around the world across the communications infrastructure, utilities, transport, energy, renewable power and sustainable resources sectors.
AT&T says it expects the Brookfield deal to close within eight months – a lot faster than its $85 billion acquisition of media company Time Warner, which was announced in October 2016 and completed last week. It will use the $1.1 billion from Brookfield to pay down debt.