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Macquarie Agrees to Buy A$3 Billion Data Center Firm AirTrunk

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 1/13/2020 Gillian Tan and Harry Brumpton
a close up of a purple background: Coaxial cables feed into a server inside a comms room at an office in London, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.© Bloomberg Coaxial cables feed into a server inside a comms room at an office in London, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015.

(Bloomberg) -- Australia is set for its second-largest private equity deal of the past year with Macquarie Group Ltd.’s infrastructure arm agreeing to buy most of the $2.1 billion data-center firm AirTrunk.

Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Assets finalized an agreement late last week to take control of AirTrunk, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The investment values the business at about A$3 billion ($2.1 billion), the people said.

It’s a price just shy of the A$3.2 billion KKR & Co. paid to take over biscuit brand Arnott’s last August, and is close to the next largest deal, BGH Capital’s A$2.1 billion acquisition of education group Navitas Ltd. last March, according to Bloomberg data.

AirTrunk CEO Robin Khuda will keep a minority stake after the transaction, the people said.

AirTrunk is currently owned by investors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s special situations arm and TPG Sixth Street Partners. Bloomberg News reported earlier this month that MIRA had entered advanced discussions on a deal after being named the preferred bidder.

Representatives for Macquarie, Goldman Sachs and TSSP declined to comment.

AirTrunk operates data centers in Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore and has announced plans to open a facility in Hong Kong this year.

Infrastructure investors have been flocking toward data centers and other telecommunications assets such as towers and fiber that promise stable, growing earnings. Last year, a fund managed by MIRA acquired a majority stake in Netrality Data Centers, which owns and operates data centers in St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston, Philadelphia and Chicago.

TSSP, which manages $33 billion, was co-founded by Alan Waxman, who was formerly the chairman of the investment committee for Goldman Sachs’s special situations group in the Americas, which has since been folded into its merchant bank.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net;Harry Brumpton in Sydney at hbrumpton@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at fli59@bloomberg.net, ;Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, Angus Whitley, Edward Johnson

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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