AustralianSuper has made its first venture into data centres with a $2.5 billion deal with DigitalBridge Group.
Australia’s largest superannuation fund will acquire a significant minority stake in Vantage Data Centers Europe, Middle East and Africa (Vantage EMEA).
Alongside global alternatives investment manager DigitalBridge, it will be a key shareholder in the data centre platform Vantage EMEA.
The deal will support Vantage EMEA’s ambitious growth plans and enable the expansion and development of hyperscale data centres across EMEA to meet the growing demand from global big data and cloud computing companies.
AustralianSuper has more than $40 billion invested in infrastructure and said it has been seeing attractive opportunities in the digital space.
AustralianSuper head of infrastructure, Nik Kemp, said the investment is the fund’s largest infrastructure deal in Europe and will provide it with access to an attractive market that has delivered strong growth and returns in recent years.
“The Vantage EMEA platform is at an exciting point in its history, with a strong pipeline of developments in growing markets across the region. We look forward to working with DigitalBridge and Vantage EMEA to continue to support the rapid growth of its customers while also delivering on our purpose to help more than 3.2 million members achieve their best financial position in retirement.
“The acquisition of this significant minority stake in the Vantage EMEA platform complements our existing digital infrastructure investments and represents an important step for the fund as we deepen our infrastructure capability in Europe,” Kemp stated.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.
Jon Mauck, senior managing director at DigitalBridge who leads its data centre investment strategy, with the firm remaining as the majority owner, said: “We are delighted to welcome AustralianSuper as an investor to EMEA’s premier data centre platform. Vantage, led by an experienced management team, has a track record of success and is aligned with the long-term growth of cloud demand and the need for AI infrastructure.
“Digital infrastructure continues to demonstrate its resilience as an asset class, and we look forward to building on our track record as we become a partner of choice to Australian investors seeking to increase their exposure to high-quality digital infrastructure investments.”