Sunday, 19th September 2021

£231 million acquisition of established Nordic data centre platform

Digital 9 Infrastructure has completed the acquisition of Verne Holdings Limited, a data centre platform in Iceland, operating on a former NATO site near Keflavik for a valuation of approximately £231 million in cash.

This acquisition, which is one of the pipeline investments identified at IPO, is D9’s first data centre acquisition. The Verne Global Icelandic facilities’ environmental credentials reaffirms D9’s data centre strategy and together with the subsea network platform steps forward our ambition to decarbonise digital infrastructure (in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 9) by enabling better access to data centres in areas of surplus renewable generation.

The transaction represents a multiple of approximately 20x contracted, run-rate EBITDA, with a base case cash yield of 7%+. Verne Global offers significant potential to scale up existing operations and enhance value further, particularly from the existing Icelandic operations, land (40 acre campus) and on site power availability.

In addition to the Verne Global acquisition and its related expansion opportunities, the Investment Manager has identified a further six data centre investments with an aggregate value of approximately £200 million, which form part of a broader near-term pipeline of, in aggregate, over £670 million.

In particular, in July 2021 the Company secured exclusivity in respect of the acquisition of a premier metro data centre based in the UK. The Investment Manager is in advanced negotiations on this acquisition, including completion of a comprehensive due diligence exercise, and it is anticipated that, if this acquisition goes ahead, it will complete by 31 October 2021.

This metro data centre acquisition is in line with the Company’s stated strategy of acquiring data centre assets in metro or edge locations, to move computing closer to the end user, and with robust connectivity.

Commenting on the Verne Global transaction, Thor Johnsen, Head of Digital Infrastructure at Triple Point, said:

“Data centres form a key part of the digital infrastructure backbone. Verne Global’s existing Icelandic based data centre assets represent some of the cleanest, lowest carbon footprint data centres, globally. This is another key step to support decarbonising the data centre industry. For society to meet key decarbonisation goals, we need to look for ways to shift energy consumptive activities to areas of surplus renewable energy. The digital infrastructure industry has an increasing energy footprint, particularly data centres, which need to become more energy efficient and green. However, as an industry we should not rely on carbon offsets in markets which are already struggling to meet carbon targets, but we need to attract data centre demand to areas where there are robust sources of renewable power.

We are thrilled to add the Verne Global platform to the growing D9 portfolio. Together with the D9 subsea investment in Aqua Comms, we are pursuing further fibre network opportunities to improve connectivity into the Nordics, enabling data centre users reliable and low cost access to the vast renewable and low cost energy resources of Iceland and the Nordics.”

Commenting on the Verne Global transaction, Dominic Ward, CEO of Verne Global, said:

“We are experiencing rapid growth and demand for sustainable high intensity compute solutions. Our customers are growing fast and have a stronger focus than ever on sustainability. Acquisition by D9 enables us to accelerate our growth and respond to our customers’ needs now and in the future. What Verne Global has achieved over the last decade is a fantastic accomplishment and this acquisition is a great acknowledgement of the exceptional team that we have. We are hugely excited to be working with D9 and believe that we have the perfect partner to help power our future.”

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