Kao Data to expand after NZ investor takes 40% for £130m
Infratil, the New Zealand company that owns CDC Data Centres in Australia, has taken a stake in UK-based Kao Data, to fund expansion plans.
The investor says it will spend “up to £120-130 million” on its new acquisition, to expand capacity at the existing Harlow site, north of London, and to buy and expand two new sites.
Kao Data CEO Lee Myall (pictured) said: “This investment presents a strategic opportunity to accelerate our mission of supporting the computing requirements of advanced industries, and to do so sustainably.” Myall joined Kao Data last year after being CCO of Epsilon. Before that he was at Interoute, leaving after the GTT acquisition.
Kao Data said it has signed an agreement to acquire two UK prime location data centres from a financial services business – so far unidentified – “with a long-term anchor lease” from the business.
It said the new investment “will enable Kao Data to deliver multi-site services for its clients and expand potential capacity to circa 55MW, while delivering long-term trusted operations for clients' mission-critical infrastructure”.
Kao said that the six-hectare Harlow site has space and power for four data centres. Construction of the second data centre will start by the end of March 2022.
The company hasn’t identified the promised acquisition from “a large financial services business”, but says there is “significant expansion capacity”. Completion is expected by the end of March 2022.
Infratil, with interests in Wellington Airport and Vodafone New Zealand as well as energy and healthcare, says that after the deal it will hold 40% oif Kao, alongside current shareholders, Legal & General, one of Europe’s largest asset managers, and Goldacre, founder of Kao Data and part of Noé group.
Infratil CEO Jason Boyes said: “With global demand for connectivity continuing to rise, this is an excellent opportunity to expand our digital infrastructure portfolio and build on our successful data centre platform investment in Australia and New Zealand. We were an early mover into this sector, acquiring CDC Data Centres in 2016, which has delivered exceptional performance.”
Vincent Gerritsen, head of UK and Europe for HRL Morrison & Co, the manager of Infratil, said: “We look forward to working with the Kao Data management team and existing shareholders to continue the build out of best-in-class, high-performance, sustainable data centre solutions and scale up the platform through attractive growth opportunities in the pipeline.”
Boyes added: “Kao Data provides a compelling strategic growth opportunity for Infratil. It is a rare opportunity to be able to invest in one of the fastest growing data centre markets in the world, alongside blue-chip partners. We will bring our sector experience alongside our partners’ capability and relationships to continue to scale up this business, with the aim of delivering a sizeable multi-site platform.”