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US data centre giant buys MainOne

MainOne’s Nigerian data centre business and an undersea cable that runs along the west coast of Africa has been sold for $320-million

US data centre giant Equinix has put in motion a strategy to lead digital infrastructure on the continent, by acquiring West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider MainOne for $320-million.

Equinix’s says it plans to become a leading African carrier-neutral digital infrastructure company by being able to bring a full range of transformative technologies and connectivity to Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

This acquisition will extend its Platform Equinix into West Africa, facilitating access to global and regional markets. Nigeria has both the largest population and the largest economy in Africa, with approximately 142-million active internet subscribers, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission.

Equinix says it believes MainOne, headquartered in Lagos, to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa, and Lagos is rapidly becoming a key connectivity hub for the wider West Africa region. Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has three operational data centres, with an additional facility in Lagos expected to open this month.

The four operational data centres will add more than 64,000 square feet of space to Platform Equinix, in addition to 570,000 square feet of land for future expansion.

MainOne’s assets include an extensive submarine network extending 7,000 kilometres from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the West African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. It also owns a terrestrial network of more than 1,200 kilometres of terrestrial fibre in Lagos, Edo and Ogun States. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 points of presence (PoPs) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

It also provides access to key internet exchanges, enabling low latency to key global networks like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook. It has more than 800 business-to-business customers, including major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers. These services are facilitated by nearly 500 employees and a management team with a deep understanding of local and international markets.

The facilities currently generate approximately $60-million annual revenue. Funke Opeke will continue to lead the new brand, styled as “MainOne, an Equinix company.”

Globally, Platform Equinix comprises 240 data centres across 66 metros and 27 countries on 6 continents, providing data centre and interconnection services to more than 10,000+ companies. The MainOne acquisition marks the latest in a series of strategic acquisitions. Equinix recently announced expansions in South America with its intended acquisition of three Entel data centres. Both acquisitions followed announcements to acquire 13 Bell data centres in Canada and two highly interconnected data centres in Mumbai, through the acquisition of GPX India, in October 2020 and September 2021, respectively.

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