Infratil has announced it has agreed to invest up to £120 million in Kao Data, a leading UK developer and operator of advanced data centres for high performance colocation.
Since commencing operations in 2018, Kao Data has created world-class digital infrastructure systems that deliver high performance colocation services for enterprise, cloud, HPC and AI organisations.
Kao Data owns a 15-acre data centre campus, built on the site of Sir Charles Kao’s pioneering discovery of the fibre optic cable in 1966. It is located in the UK Innovation Corridor, one of the country’s fastest-growing economic regions between London and Cambridge. Its campus is an ultra-sustainable and carrier-neutral development that once fully operational, will become home to four energy efficient data centres, all powered by 100% renewable energy. Construction of its second building will begin later this financial year.
As part of its continued expansion, Kao Data has recently signed an agreement to acquire two UK prime location data centres with a long-term anchor lease from a large financial services business. This purchase will enable Kao Data to deliver multi-site services for its clients and expand potential capacity to c. 55MW, while delivering long-term trusted operations for clients’ mission-critical infrastructure.
Infratil’s initial investment will fund this growth, after which Infratil will hold 40% of Kao Data, alongside current shareholders, Legal & General Group, 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.”
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, multi-geography platform.”
Vincent Gerritsen, Head of UK and Europe for Morrison & Co, the manager of Infratil Ltd 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.”
Lee Myall, CEO, Kao Data said, “I welcome today’s announcement of Infratil Limited’s investment in Kao Data, and on behalf of our management team, we look forward to working with them on the next stages of this exciting journey. This investment presents a strategic opportunity to accelerate our mission of supporting the computing requirements of advanced industries, and to do so sustainably.”
Matteo Colombo, Strategic Capital Investment Director at Legal & General Capital said, “Kao is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading compute providers to the life sciences and financial services sectors, amongst others, delivering critical infrastructure to enable a productive and inclusive society. We’re thrilled to welcome Infratil with its international experience and significant sector acumen.”
David Bloom, Founding Partner at Goldacre, Noé Group, said, “This is another landmark moment for Kao Data, both for the continued growth of the firm and for the development of the wider data centre industry. We saw immense potential in Kao Data back in 2014 and are proud to see the team continue to go from strength to strength, transitioning into a widely respected market leader. Given the ever-growing importance of the data industry, we look forward to working with Infratil and our existing partners to create further opportunities to accelerate the emergence of state-of-the-art infrastructure and enter new markets around the globe.”
Morrison & Co has deep investment and operating experience in digital infrastructure, managing investments in businesses such as Vodafone New Zealand, Fore Freedom, and CDC Data Centres.
Morrison & Co is actively growing its European investment portfolio with current equity investments in water, energy distribution, renewable energy, transport and digital infrastructure.