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Actis Takes Majority Stake In Lagos-based Rack Center To Start USD 250 Mn Pan-African Data Center Buying Spree


March 4, 2020

Actis, a leading investor in growth markets across Africa, Asia and Latin America, is in the process of establishing a USD 250 Mn pan-African data center platform.

The London-headquartered investment firm’s plan is to build a platform consisting of independently owned, carrier-neutral data centres across a selection of markets in Africa.

Testament to its intentions, the first investment has now been closed as Actis picked a majority stake in Rack Centre—a leading co-location business in Nigeria.

This investee’s certified Tier III data center in Lagos has the largest installed capacity in West Africa. Rack Center hosts more than 80 international regional and local clients.

Outside South Africa, Nigeria stands as the continent’s largest data center market, so it makes sense for the private equity GP to start from there and expand subsequently.

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Also, with more than 35 carriers connecting to the facility, as well as hosting Nigeria’s internet exchange, Rack Centre is the most connected facility in the region and links every country on Africa’s Atlantic coast.

WeeTracker is led to understand that the deal between Rack Center and Actis corresponds to more than USD 100 Mn. But that is only a fraction of the USD 4.5 Bn Actis has committed to Africa in the last 15 years.

The growth market-focused firm already boasts of one of the largest real estate and power generation investments in Africa.

Outside the continent, ts Chinese data center creation known as Chayora Holdings, has helped developed hyperscale data center facilities in Tianjin and is sounding the waters of Asian markets.

David Morley, Head of Real Estate at Actis, said: “We have been tracking the data centre market in Africa closely, building relationships with key operators and customers.

Africa is at an inflection point and we expect to see an explosion in growth of demand for hosting capacity in independently owned data centres across the continent.
 
We are excited about this new partnership with Rack Centre and its promoter Jagal Investments (Jagal). Together they have built a strong business of international repute, hosting a compelling mix of customers ranging from leading Nigerian corporates to global cloud majors.”

Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre, says: “It has been a great honour to lead the growth of Rack Centre to become one of the most respected carrier neutral data centre brands in West Africa.

Rack Centre is now at a key juncture and my team and I are excited with being part of the future growth. With over 750 kW of installed capacity, it is now doubling capacity to 1.5MW of IT power at the currently location on a trajectory to 10MW”.

The rapidly-increasing adoption of digital services—and the explosion in mobile consumption—is driving investors into Africa. It is known as the beginning of a ‘data rush’ to capitalise on the opportunities of a data centre boom.

Kenya has two data centers courtesy of icolo.io, and opera last month installed another to save mobile data worth billions.

Featured Image: Businessday

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