Equinix expands into Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire with $320 million acquisition of MainOne

MainOne has three data centers, with another slated to be completed in 2022 and a 7,000km subsea network from Portugal to Lagos.

Equinix announced on Tuesday that it is expanding into the African continent with a $320 million acquisition of MainOne, a data center company based in West Africa. The company has locations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire.

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Equinix said it expects the deal to close at some point in the first quarter of 2022 and noted that MainOne's presence in two of the continent's biggest countries -- in terms of population and economy -- made it attractive as the company expands globally. 

MainOne was founded in 2010 by Funke Opeke and now has three data centers, with another slated to be completed in 2022. The company has a 7,000km subsea network from Portugal to Lagos, Accra, and along the West African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, as well as 1,200km of terrestrial fiber network across southern Nigeria.

Opeke said the acquisition will help them accelerate their long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa. 

Charles Meyers, president and CEO of Equinix, added that 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," Meyers said. 

"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."

Opeke will remain in her role as CEO, and Equinix noted that through the acquisition, they will gain access to "key internet exchanges enabling low latency to key global networks, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook" as well as more than 800 business-to-business customers. MainOne brings in a revenue of about $60 million annually.

"Expansion in Africa has long been a strategic priority for us. With MainOne, we have found a company that not only has a highly complementary data center and connectivity assets but can further accelerate the expansion of our business model and growth objectives," Equinix EMEA president Eugene Bergen said.  

"CEO Funke Opeke and her team have built a powerful and dynamic infrastructure that will enable international customer access to the continent and African organizations access to the global Equinix platform. Customers 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 business across Africa and around the world."

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