Equinix Inc, international digital infrastructure company, on Tuesday announced its investment foray into Africa with the commitment of $320 million to acquire MainOne, a leading West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider.
The Chief Executive Officer of the firm, Charles Meyers, stated that the acquisition of MainOne, with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, would enable business organizations in the continent to accelerate their digital transformation drives.
Meyers said that the acquisition was expected to close by first quarter 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the requisite regulatory approvals.
According to him, the transaction has an enterprise value of US $320 million and is expected to be AFFO accretive upon close, excluding integration costs, marking the first step in Equinix’s long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company.
AFFO accretive is adjusted funds from operations (AFFO), a financial measure used to estimate the value of a real estate investment trust (REIT).
The Equinix boss explained that with more than 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, along with Ghana, has become an established data centre hub, adding that this makes the acquisition a pivotal entry point for Equinix into the continent.
He further clarified: ‘’The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing African market.
“MainOne’s leading interconnection position and experienced management team represent critical assets in our aspirations to be the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure in Africa.
“Growth of data consumption in Africa is amongst the fastest in the world, and our customers are looking for a trusted partner to pursue the opportunities presented by broad mobile adoption and greater connectivity across the region.
“MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem and operating capability will extend the reach of Platform Equinix and bolster opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world,’’ Meyers added.
In her remarks on the deal, MainOne’s Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Ms Funke Opeke, said that Equinix would accelerate the company’s long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa.
She expressed her appreciation to the founding shareholders of the company led by a seasoned banker,Mr. Fola Adeola; MainStreet Technologies, AFC, PAIDF, FBN, Polaris and AfDB for investing in the MainOne vision to bridge the digital gap in Africa.
Opeke said: “The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together.”