Equinix, a company based in the United States, expands into Africa with the $320 million acquisition of Nigeria’s MainOne.
Equinix, an American digital infrastructure company, has announced that it will pay $320 million for MainOne, a West African data center and connectivity solutions provider with locations in Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast.
The deal is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2022, pending the “satisfaction of usual closing conditions, including regulatory clearances.”
Equinix stated in a statement that acquiring MainOne was the first stage in its long-term plan to become a carrier-neutral digital infrastructure provider in Africa.
“With over 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, together with Ghana, has established itself as a data center hub,” according to the statement. As a result, the acquisition is a critical entry point for Equinix into Africa.”
After returning to Nigeria from the United States in 2010, Funke Opeke founded MainOne after observing the poor internet access that Nigerians faced.
She constructed MainOne, West Africa’s first privately owned, open-access undersea high-capacity cable submarine. It’s a 7,000-kilometer cable that runs from Portugal to West Africa, stopping in Accra, Ghana, Dakar, Senegal, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Lagos, Nigeria.
MainOne also operates a 1,200-kilometer terrestrial fiber network across Lagos, Edo, and Ogun states in southern Nigeria. 65 PoPs (points of presence) in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast provide connectivity to terrestrial locations.
Over 800 business-to-business customers use MainOne’s services. Major worldwide technology firms, social media firms, global telecommunications operators, financial services firms, and cloud service providers are among them.
MainOne expects to establish an additional data center in Q1 2022, coinciding with Equinix’s acquisition, after providing connection to these firms through three operational data centers.
MainOne, which employs 500 people, claims that its facilities generate $60 million in annual revenue and have a purchase multiple of 14 times EBITDA.
“Equinox is the preferred partner for our growth path because our beliefs and culture are similar to what we’ve established together over the last twelve years.” “The MainOne team is delighted about the collaboration that has been formed as a result of the acquisition, and we look forward to working together to write our next chapter,” she said.
“The acquisition of MainOne will offer a vital point of entry for Platform Equinix into the wide and fast-rising African market,” said Charles Meyers, the company’s president. MainOne’s strong interconnection position and experienced management team are valuable advantages in our quest to become Africa’s leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure.
“MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem, and operational capacity will broaden Platform Equinix’s reach and expand prospects for customers in Africa and around the world,” says the company.
In the long run, Opeke says, the acquisition will help MainOne extend its digital infrastructure investments in Africa.