•It’s good omen on Nigeria’s FDI drive —ATCON, ALTON
By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
California-based digital infrastructure company, Equinix, has acquired Nigeria’s leading data center and connectivity solutions provider, MainOne at a whopping $320million.
MainOne has also confirmed the acquisition, saying Equinix was now in pole position to help grow digital infrastructure investment across Africa, which had been the long term vision of the Nigerian company.
Umbrella bodies of Telecom companies in Nigeria, Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON and the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria, ALTON, reacted positively to the development yesterday, saying it showed the Nigerian market was still attractive to foreign investors.
According to the terms of the acquisition agreement, MainOne will melt into Equinix by March next year, if the parties satisfy all customary conditions, including regulatory approvals.
The terms also stipulate that the management team, including CEO, Funke Opeke, would continue to serve in their respective roles.
Confirming the sale of MainOne, Opeke said: “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.
‘’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.”
Reacting to the development, President and CEO, Equinix, Charles Meyers, said: “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 among 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.”.
He said Equinix believed MainOne to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa.
Founded by Funke Opeke in 2010, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria and now has digital infrastructure assets including three operational data centers, with an additional facility under construction expected to open in Q1 2022.
Part of the Mainone facilities and assets included in the acquisition are:
*Three operational data centers, with an additional facility under construction expected to open in Q1 2022. These facilities will add more than 64,000 gross square feet space to Platform Equinix, in addition to 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions
*An extensive submarine network extending 7,000 kilometers from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the west African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
* A terrestrial network of more than 1,200 kilometers of reliable terrestrial fiber in Lagos, Edo and Ogun States. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 PoPs (points of presence) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
* Access to key internet exchanges enabling low latency to key global networks, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook.
* An estimated 800+ business-to-business customers, including major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers.
* Nearly 500 employees and a management team with a deep understanding of local and international markets
Upon finally taking over, Equinix, through these facilities will gain more than 64,000 gross square feet of space, with 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions.
Reacting to the development, President of Association of Telecom companies of Nigeria, ATCON, Mr Ike Nnamani, said: “This is a good development in the area of Foreign Direct Investment. It shows that foreigners still have confidence in the Nigerian market, contrary to the belief that they are abandoning Nigeria for other African countries.
“It is also a good omen, considering that a lot of investments are expected to be pumped into the company and the system which will result in job creation and massive employments. In ATCON, our major objective is to drive FDI and this is one we can be proud of,” he added.
Also reacting, the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria, ALTON, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, extended felicitation to MainOne and Equinix for successful partnership, saying “we wish them all the success.’’