Equinix to acquire Metronode for AU$1b

Equinix will be adding Metronode's facilities across Australia, and its services agreements with multiple government agencies, to its stable of IBX datacentres.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor
(Image: Equinix)

Equinix has announced entering an agreement to acquire Australian datacentre company Metronode for AU$1.035 billion in cash, expected to close in the first half of 2018.

The agreement between Equinix and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan will see all of Metronode's equity interests, most notably its facilities providing connectivity and communications infrastructure for government agencies, telcos, IT service providers, and enterprises, acquired by Equinix.

"Growth and expansion is a continued focus for Equinix as we strive to bring together market leaders and innovators on a single, global interconnection platform," Equinix Asia-Pacific president Samuel Lee said.

"The acquisition of Metronode helps Equinix to accelerate the expansion of our global footprint and support our customers in the region as they move their infrastructure to the edge, closer to their customers and partners."

The acquisition, still subject to regulatory approval, will be used by Equinix to expand its Asia-Pacific business, providing it with 10 more datacentres and 80,000 square metres of land.

The datacentres in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, and Brisbane will bring Equinix's International Business Exchange (IBX) datacentre number up to 15. In total, Equinix will have 200 datacentres in 52 markets following the acquisition, 40 of which will be in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The acquisition will complement the growth strategy of Equinix in Australia by adding two datacentres in Melbourne, three in greater Sydney (including one in Illawarra), two in Perth, and one in each of Canberra, Adelaide, and Brisbane. The acquired Metronode sites add approximately 20,000 square metres of gross collocation space to the Equinix footprint," Equinix said.

Equinix said it is also hoping to utilise Metronode's existing relationships with government agencies, and to continue providing capacity to the New South Wales' government's GovDC program in two datacentres.

Metronode -- which made AU$60 million in revenue in the year ended September 30 -- had begun housing NSW government agencies in its Unanderra, Wollongong datacentre after the government consolidated 160 datacentres into two Metronode facilities under the GovDC initiative.

Metronode in July also invested more than AU$150 million into expanding its Sydney, Melbourne, and Wollongong facilities to construct three new data halls.

Equinix added that Metronode's Perth datacentre will be used to house Vocus' Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) submarine cable system.

Equinix had in September announced that its IBX datacentres in Melbourne and Sydney would house the ASC.

Equinix is similarly involved with the Trident subsea cable between Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore; the Hawaiki cable between the United States West Coast, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand; the FASTER cable between Japan and the US West Coast; the Asia-Pacific Gateway between China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore; the Southern Cross Cable Network between California and Sydney; the Aqua Comms cable between New York and London; the Hibernia Express cable between New York and London; the Cinia Northern Digital Highway cable between Frankfurt and Helsinki; the Gulf Bridge International cable between the Middle East and Europe; the Globenet cable between Florida and Brazil; the Seaborn Networks cable between New York and Sao Paulo; and the Monet Consortium Florida-to-Brazil cable, which it will host in its MI3 IBX datacentre in Miami.

Ahead of connecting to the ASC, Equinix earlier this year said it would undertake a $42 million expansion of its SY4 Sydney IBX datacentre to improve capacity, with plans to add 1,500 cabinets for a total of 3,000 by the end of 2017.

Equinix's datacentre monitoring software, allowing businesses to monitor power, mechanical, and environmental conditions in real time, was also slated to be made available in SY3, SY4, and ME1 by the end of this year.

Equinix in May spent $3.6 billion to buy 29 datacentres from Verizon, giving it 600 new customers, which CFO Keith Taylor said will add $480 million to $500 million in revenue in the first 12 months, but with a cost of $40 million to integrate.

In August, Equinix said it would also deploy fuel cells in seven of its IBX datacentres in Silicon Valley, three in New York, and two in Los Angeles to help power them following a pilot in one of its Silicon Valley in 2015 in partnership with Bloom Energy and Southern Company.

The Bloom Energy fuel cells generate energy using a clean electrochemical process that results in water and a small amount of carbon dioxide as by-products. The project should provide around 37 megawatts of power, Equinix said.

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