Interxion Inks Deal To Acquire Icolo Controlling Stake

InterXion inks deal to gain 70% Icolo stake

20 December 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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InterXion has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Icolo, a Kenyan data centre operator.

The European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centre services has also entered into a strategic partnership with the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF).

As part of these transactions, PRIF will invest in Icolo and will collaborate and co-invest with Interxion on expansion initiatives across the African continent. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2020.

“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Pembani Remgro, one of the leading TMT infrastructure investment firms in Africa,” said David Ruberg, chief executive officer of Interxion.

“Their deep understanding of the African communications and technology sectors is highly complementary to Interxion’s proven expertise in serving the mission-critical needs of the customers in our carrier and cloud-neutral data centres. Our ambitions in this region are substantial, reflecting the opportunity for the cloud and content platforms to bring several hundreds of millions of people online in Africa over the next decade. We look forward to working with Icolo’s founder and CEO, Ranjith Cherickel, and his team to build on the solid foundations they have created.”

Since Interxion’s initial investment in March 2016, Icolo has delivered strong growth and has “established itself as a leading African carrier and cloud-neutral data centre operator,” the company said.

With two data centres in Kenya currently in operation, Icolo is experiencing strong demand from cloud and content platforms and across the enterprise segment. The company announced in July that it was constructing a second facility, which had an August 2019 completion date.

Acquisitions of 25,000 sq m of land for further expansion of Icolo’s data centre footprint are in progress in both Mombasa and Nairobi, with the associated total capacity for Icolo in Kenya expected to grow to approximately 20MW. In Mombasa, Icolo is uniquely positioned to benefit from the growing number of submarine cable consortia that have expressed their intention to land in Kenya.

Upon the closing of the transaction and taking into consideration the PRIF investment, Interxion will own approximately 70% of Icolo’s common shares with the remaining shares held by PRIF and Icolo management.

PRIF is a joint initiative established by Remgro, Phuthuma Nhleko and the investment team, based in Johannesburg. Nhleko is the former Group CEO and chairman of the MTN Group. During his 10 years at the helm of MTN, the Group expanded operations from five countries in Africa to 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East, with over 200 million voice and data subscribers.

The news come after InterXion entered into a definitive agreement worth $8.4 billion with Digital Realty to combine their businesses, creating a leading global provider of data centre, colocation and interconnection solutions.