Digital 9 buys UK data centre and landing station for £15m

Thor Johnsen Digital 9.jpg

Digital 9, the UK-based infrastructure investment company that owns subsea company Aqua Comms, has bought SeaEdge UK1, a data centre asset and subsea fibre landing station.

SeaEdge UK1 is on what Digital 9 (D9) calls “the UK’s largest data centre campus”, in Newcastle on the north-east coast of England. The group has spent £15 million on the acquisition.

The company makes clear that this is one of the assets that was meant earlier this year when it issued a prospectus for its successful share flotation.

“We are thrilled to add SeaEdge UK1 to the growing D9 portfolio and look forward to updating investors on further opportunities in due course,” said Thor Johnsen (pictured), head of digital infrastructure at Triple Point, which manages investments for Digital 9.

The Newcastle asset is occupied and operated by Stellium Data Centers, via a 25-year occupational lease, with over 24 years remaining.

D9 said that the rent it receives under the lease “will deliver an attractive yield”. It is “subject to annual, upward-only inflation-linked rent reviews”.

Johnsen said: “Data centres form a key part of the digital infrastructure backbone. We are pleased to support the Stellium operations through our ownership of the SeaEdge UK1 asset. Stellium offers customers robust transatlantic and intra-Europe connectivity, as well as access to the Newcastle Internet Exchange (NCL-IX). This level of connectivity is key in delivering on D9’s strategic ambition and bridging the connectivity divide.”

SeaEdge UK1, with a capacity of 10.6MW, has a direct connection to the 275kV UK electricity grid, with 80MW available power.

SeaEdge UK1 is the landing point for the new North Sea Connect cable, part of the North Atlantic Loop fibre optic cable network, which hosts AEC-1 and AEC-2, both owned and operated by Aqua Comms.

D9 said that SeaEdge UK1 is also the landing station for the NO-UK subsea cable between Stavanger in Norway and Newcastle in the UK. This connects Altibox Carrier’s Norwegian network to the north-east of England, and onwards.

The data centre hosts several Tier 1 carriers and a leading technology company, said D9.

D9 bought Aqua Comms in March 2021 for US$215 million after D9’s share flotation. D9 also owns the Verne Global data centre business in Iceland. The investment group said that it has “identified a further £1 billion pipeline of investment opportunities over the next six months”.