Helios makes multi data centre investment in Africa and appoint a new MD


Helios Investment Partners (Helios) has entered into agreements for the acquisitions of majority stakes in Maroc Datacenter (MDC) and IXAfrica Data Centre (IXAfrica), for an undisclosed sum.

MDC, a carrier neutral data centre, operates in the Rabat metro area of Morocco and once acquired will serve as a key building block in a broader Helios hyperscale data centre platform in the Rabat and Casablanca metro areas.

“The acquisition of MDC as a key building block in Helios’ broader Moroccan hyperscale DC platform, and the strategic investment in IXAfrica are aligned with our criterion of making investments that have the potential to integrate climate-sensitive solutions into our value creation plans," said Babatunde Soyoye, Co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners.

"In both Morocco and Kenya, the delivery of essential infrastructure that is critical to economic growth can be done in manner that is climate-sensitive; from focusing on low-carbon sources of power, to lower intensity consumption of resources, these data centre investments have potential to be blueprints for digital infrastructure’s part in reducing carbon intensity on the continent. The need for lower-cost, lower-latency data delivery has never been greater in Africa; both our Moroccan and Kenyan platforms are expected to be pioneers in addressing this need, and we are encouraged by the prospect of opportunities in other key African markets.”

IXAfrica, a developer and operator of hyperscale-ready data centres, benefits from its strategic location alongside the Mombasa Road in Nairobi, Kenya. Once full build-out of the Nairobi campus, IXAfrica is to deliver over 20MW of hyperscale-ready capacity.

According to Helios, Africa's data centre capacity remains severely underdeveloped, and substantial additional capacity is needed to meet latent and future demand. MDC and IXAfrica are well-positioned to play pivotal roles in the digital transformations of Morocco and Kenya, respectively, and will benefit from Helios’ expertise building platforms in Africa.

“Digital infrastructure lies at the core of the dual long-term secular trends of demographics/urbanisation and technology/innovation that we believe will power economic growth in Africa over the coming decades," added Tope Lawani, co-founder and managing partner of Helios Investment Partners.

"In welcoming Guy onto our team and in making the investments in MDC and IXAfrica, we are affirming our high conviction in digital infrastructure investment opportunities and further strengthening our market-leading sector franchise. We are excited to partner with the management teams of MDC and IXAfrica in their efforts to become the highest-quality partners for local and global customers and to promote the internet connectivity ecosystem in strategically important African markets. We look forward to working with Guy to identify and execute on similarly exciting and impactful investments in the sector.”

In support of this Helios is has appointed Guy Willner as its managing director of Digital Infrastructure, effective as of December 2022.

Willner enters the role having founded and invested in several data centre start-ups in developed and emerging markets over the last 24 years. He is the co-founder of IXAfrica and has been its chairman since inception; he has also been a Director of IXcellerate UK Ltd since 2011 and served as the CEO of IXEurope from 1999 to 2007.