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Pan-African private equity investor, Actis has announced that it is establishing a US$250 million data centre platform. The buy and build platform will comprise of independently owned, carrier-neutral, data centres across key African markets.

Actis has completed the first of these investments by taking a controlling stake in Nigeria’s leading, independent co-location business, Rack Centre. Rack Centre owns and operates a certified Tier III data centre in Lagos.

The investment into Rack Centre will fund a rapid expansion of the data centre, doubling the existing modular capacity and developing a traditional-build scale data centre on the same premises. This will create the largest data centre outside South Africa with hosting capacity in excess of 10MW over the near term.

Nigeria is Africa’s largest data centre market outside South Africa and provides a launchpad for the platform’s further expansion.

Actis is already one of the largest real estate and power generation investors in Africa. The firm has also created a Chinese data centre platform, Chayora Holdings, to develop hyper-scale data centre facilities in Tianjin and is exploring other Asian markets.

“We have been tracking the data centre market in Africa closely, building relationships with key operators and customers. Africa is at an inflection point and we expect to see an explosion in growth of demand for hosting capacity in independently owned data centres across the continent,” said David Morley, Head of Real Estate at Actis.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Rack Centre and its promoter Jagal Investments. Together they have built a strong business of international repute, hosting a compelling mix of customers ranging from leading Nigerian corporates to global cloud majors,” he added.

Actis is the largest private equity group in Africa having committed US$4.5bn to the region over the last 15 years.

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