European cloud and colocation services provider Interxion Holding N.V. (NYSE: INXN) says it has stepped up its activities in Africa. The company has agreed to acquire a controlling interest in Icolo, a Kenyan data center operator. Interxion also has partnered with the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF) in an arrangement that will see PRIF invest in Icolo and collaborate and co-invest with Interxion on expansion opportunities across Africa. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. The amount of the investments in Icolo were not disclosed.
When all the ink is dry, Interxion will own approximately 70% of Icolo’s common shares, with the remaining shares held by PRIF and Icolo management.
Interxion originally invested in Icolo in March 2016. Icolo is a carrier and cloud-neutral data center operator with two data centers in Kenya. The company also is in the early stages of opening similar facilities in Mombasa and Nairobi. Once completed, Icolo will operate approximately 20 MW of capacity. The Mombasa location will give Icolo the ability to offer services to submarine cable consortia.
“We are pleased to announce this partnership with Pembani Remgro, one of the leading TMT infrastructure investment firms in Africa,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s CEO. “Their deep understanding of the African communications and technology sectors is highly complementary to Interxion’s proven expertise in serving the mission-critical needs of the customers in our carrier and cloud-neutral data centres. Our ambitions in this region are substantial, reflecting the opportunity for the cloud and content platforms to bring several hundreds of millions of people online in Africa over the next decade. We look forward to working with Icolo’s founder and CEO, Ranjith Cherickel, and his team to build on the solid foundations they have created.”
The PRIF is a joint initiative among Remgro, Phuthuma Nhleko and the investment team, based in Johannesburg. The fund seeks to invest equity and quasi-equity in infrastructure opportunities on the African continent, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Potential investments include greenfield transactions, brownfield and secondary transactions, as well as logistics and engineering services companies operating within the infrastructure sector.
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