Airtrunk to step up APAC expansion after Macquarie-backed buy

Airtrunk to step up APAC expansion after Macquarie-backed buy

The deal values Airtrunk at $3 billion

Credit: Airtrunk

Hyperscale data centre provider Airtrunk is set to ramp up its expansion across the Asia Pacific region after Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) closed an acquisition deal for an 88 per cent stake in the company.

The investment, which was undertaken by a consortium led by Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund 2 (MAIF2), a MIRA-managed infrastructure fund, effectively values Airtrunk at more than $3 billion.

Airtrunk unveiled its flagship Australian data centre facility in Western Sydney in 2017. Since then, the company has continued to grow, and at a rapid pace, growing into a leading regional platform with multiple facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong, and an expansion plan in other markets. 

In 2018, Airtrunk completed an $850 million financing effort to fund a major expansion of its Sydney and Melbourne data centres, as well as across Asia Pacific.

Today, Airtrunk’s five data centres, once fully developed, will be able to deliver a combined capacity of more than 450 megawatts. This growth is being driven by a number of factors, including population growth, digital adoption and the shift to the cloud across the region. 

“Airtrunk has established itself as the dominant player in the APAC hyperscale market, rapidly growing our footprint in a disciplined way and securing a number of long-term customer commitments,” Airtrunk CEO Robin Khuda said. “The investment announced today will enable Airtrunk to continue to deliver secure, reliable and scalable infrastructure for our customers in existing and new markets.

“We look forward to working with MIRA’s expert team to usher in a new and exciting era for Airtrunk, building on the strong foundation we’ve established over the past three years. 

“Their investment will enable us to roll out our rapidly expanding hyperscale platform across the region. MIRA’s strong track record with infrastructure investments in APAC will provide valuable experience as Airtrunk consolidates and expands its Asia-Pacific presence,” he added.

For MIRA Asia Pacific head Frank Kwok, the investment makes sense on several levels. 

“The global data centre industry has grown significantly in recent years, driven by an exponential increase in data consumption, increasing cloud applications and the shift from internal IT infrastructure to outsourced resources,” Kwok said. “In the Asia Pacific, this thematic is amplified by the region’s emerging economies and growing populations, leading to increasing data usage and a greater need for in-country computing workloads and storage.

According to Kwok, MIRA’s investors are attracted to hyperscale data centre providers such as Airtrunk because they have attributes such as long-term revenue streams and demand resilience throughout market cycles.

“This is a business with an impressive track record of execution for its customers, delivering capacity on time and on budget,” he said. 

The stake was bought by the consortium from Goldman Sachs, Sixth Street Partners (formerly TSSP) and Khuda, who is Airtrunk's founder as well as its CEO. However, Khuda will continue to hold a material stake in the business and will remain in his role as CEO under a long-term arrangement.

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