Equinix, Inc., the world’s digital infrastructure company, has announced its expansion into Africa through its intended acquisition of MainOne, a leading West African data center and connectivity solutions provider, with presence in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of Q1 of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals.
The transaction has an enterprise value of US $320M 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.
With more than 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, along with Ghana, has become an established data center hub. This makes the acquisition a pivotal entry point for Equinix into the continent.
Equinix believes MainOne to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa. Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets including three operational data centers, with an additional facility under construction, expected to open in Q1 2022. Upon closing, these facilities will add more than 64,000 gross square feet of space to Platform Equinix, with 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions.
MainOne owns and operates a subsea network from Nigeria to Portugal, as well as 1,200 kilometers of reliable terrestrial fiber network across southern Nigeria. These are all improving connectivity to and from Europe, West African countries and the major business communities in Nigeria. When completed, this acquisition will extend Platform Equinix into West Africa, giving organizations based inside and outside of Africa access to one of the world’s fastest growing markets.
According to Charles Meyers, President and CEO of Equinix, 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.”Funke Opeke
Under the terms of the transaction, the management team, including CEO Funke Opeke, will continue to serve in their respective roles.
Globally, Platform Equinix comprised of 237 data centers across 65 metros and 27 countries, providing data center and interconnection services for over 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.
Funke Opeke, Founder and CEO of MainOne highlighted that Equinix will accelerate and complement their long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa.
“I thank our founding shareholders led by Mr. Fola Adeola, MainStreet Technologies, AFC, PAIDF, FBN, Polaris and AfDB for investing in the MainOne vision to bridge the Digital Divide in Africa. With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built in twelve years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey. The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together”.Funke Opeke
Eugene Bergen, President of Equinix for the EMFA also underscored that expansion in Africa has long been a strategic priority for the company . He stated that with MainOne, “we have found a company that not only has highly complementary data center and connectivity assets, but can further accelerate the expansion of our business model and growth objectives”.
Bergen lauded CEO Funke Opeke and her team for building a powerful and dynamic infrastructure that will enable international customers access to the continent and African organizations access to the global Equinix platform. He noted that companies can take full advantage of Equinix’s leading global interconnection services to connect with customers and partners, participate in rich digital ecosystems and expand their businesses across Africa and around the world.