Telefonica sells data centre portfolio

Spanish telecommunications group Telefonica has sold a portfolio of 11 data centres.

The telco has agreed to sell 11 data centres in seven countries – two each in Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Peru, as well as one each in Chile, Mexico and the US – to Spanish investor Asterion Industrial Partners, in a deal worth €550 million (£470m US$615m).

Included as part of the deal are agreements that will allow Telefonica to continue providing services from the data centres under a long-term contract. The sites have a combined installed service capacity of 29MW.

The sale is expected to generate capital gains of around €260 million (£222m US$291m), according to Telefonica. It is expected to close within the next two months, with the exception of four sites which will require further approvals before being transferred.

Asterion reportedly saw off rival bids for the portfolio from the likes of Brookfield, EQT, I-Squared and BC Partners.

The buyer was advised by Clifford Chance (legal), Oliver Wyman (financial) and KPMG on the transaction.

Asterion

In March [2019], Asterion reached the first close of its maiden infrastructure fund, with commitments of €519 million (£443m US$580m) just four months after registering it with Spain’s securities market exchange commission.

The vehicle – called Asterion Industrial Fund I – is targeting €850 million (£727m US$951m) with a €1 billion (£855m US$1.1bn) hard cap and expects to reach final close by summer [2019]. Investors into the fund include pension funds and asset managers, as well as sovereign wealth funds from North America, Europe and the Middle East.

Target sectors include telecoms, energy, utilities and mobility in Europe, particularly in France, Italy, Spain and the UK.

The fund already made its first investment in March, when it entered into a 50-50 joint venture with France’s Mirova – which was investing out of its second core infrastructure fund – to acquire Proxiserve, a utility specialising in sub-metering and energy services.

Asterion has also established a pan-European renewables investment platform out of the fund.