US digital infrastructure company, Equinix, has announced that it is acquiring MainOne, a West African data centre and connectivity solutions provider with a presence in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, for $320 million. The acquisition is expected to close in Q1 of 2022, subject to the “satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals.”
Equinix’s acquisition of MainOne follows a series of moves the global digital infrastructure player made last year when it expanded to India through the acquisition of GPX India for $161 million and acquired 13 data centres from Bell Canada for $780 million.
In a statement, Equinix acknowledged that acquiring MainOne is the first step in its long-term strategy to become an African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company.
“With more than 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, along with Ghana, has become an established data centre hub. This makes the acquisition a pivotal entry point for Equinix into the continent,” the company said in the statement.
Funke Opeke who started MainOne in 2010 after noticing the poor internet connectivity Nigerians had to deal with will continue as CEO after the deal is finalised.
Opeke with a master’s in engineering from Columbia University, listed in 2018 Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech, built MainOne as West Africa’s first privately owned, open access undersea high-capacity cable. It’s a 7,000-kilometer cable stretching from Portugal to West Africa with landings along Accra in Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and Lagos in Nigeria. The company also has 1,200 kilometres of terrestrial fibre network across southern Nigeria in Lagos, Edo and Ogun states. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 PoPs (points of presence) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
According to Funke Opeke on the acquisition of MainOne by Equinix, “Equinix will accelerate our long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa. I thank our founding shareholders led by Mr Fola Adeola, MainStreet Technologies, AFC, PAIDF, FBN, Polaris, and AfDB for investing in the MainOne vision to bridge the Digital Divide in Africa,” Opeke said.
“With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built-in twelve years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey.
“The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together.”
“The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing African market,” President and CEO, Equinix, Charles Meyers, said.
“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.
“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.”
MainOne’s services are used by over 800 business-to-business customers. They include major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers.