AT&TInc. says it has sold data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners for $1.1 billion. Brookfield has created a new company, Evoque Data Center Solutions, to own and run its new business, which includes AT&T’s former colocation operations, fixed assets, leases and specified owned facilities. AT&T will offer Evoque's colocation services to its business customers.
The two companies formed an alliance last June that led to the asset sale. AT&T has transferred 18 internet data centers (IDCs) in the U.S. and 13 elsewhere in the world as part of the deal. The two companies announced at the time that Tim Caulfield will become CEO of Evoque. Caulfield assumes his new role after serving as CEO of ANTARA Group, an IT management consultancy focused on the Internet-as-a-Service market. Caulfield’s leadership team will include what AT&T called “veterans of AT&T and other leading communications and technology companies.”
Evoque becomes part of an ecosystem through which AT&T offers its customers data center access. The ecosystem offers access to more than 350 data centers worldwide, AT&T says.
AT&T says it will use its return on the sale to pay off debt, with a goal of shrinking its net-debt-to-EBITDA-ratio to the approximately 2.5X by the end of 2019. The sale also is part of a trend in which communications services providers have offloaded their data center operations to specialists. For example, Verizon sold its data center operations to Equinix in 2017 (see “Equinix completes Verizon data center buy”), while CenturyLink sold its data centers to private equity the same year (see “CenturyLink closes data centers, colocation business sales to investor group”).
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