California-based American multinational company Equinix announced that it will be acquiring MainOne, a West African centred data centre and connectivity solutions provider which is present in Nigeria Ghana and Ivory Coast, for $320 million. As with other acquisitions, the deal is subject to the “satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals” and is expected to close by at most the end of the first quarter of 2022.
The acquisition follows a series of strategic acquisitions aimed at global expansion by the company since the beginning of last year. For example, the company expanded to India after acquiring GPX India for $161 million. It also purchased 13 data centres for $780 million from Bell Canada. The acquisition of MainOne is the company’s attempt at venturing into the African space. In a statement it released, Equinix confessed that the acquisition of MainOne is a major step in venturing into the untapped African space. In the statement, the company said that. “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”.
Founded in 1998 by Al Avery and Jay Adelson, Equinix Inc. specializes in internet connection and data centres and has its headquarters in Redwood City, California. MainOne, on the other hand, was founded in 2010 by Funke Opeke after she came back from the US. She observed that Nigeria had poor internet connectivity, and the desire to do something about it birthed MainOne.
Today, MainOne boasts of quite a lot. Built from the scratch with about $200 million in equity and debt investment, MainOne stands as West Africa’s privately owned, open access undersea high capacity cable submarine. Its 7,000 km cable stretches all the way from Portugal to West Africa with several landings in Accra, Dakar, Abidjan and Lagos, all located in Ghana, Senegal, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria respectively. Apart from these, it also boasts of 1,200 km of terrestrial fibre network across Southern Nigeria touching Lagos, Edo and Ogun states.
MainOne boasts of a B2B customer base of more than 800 businesses that encompasses cloud service providers, financial service companies, international technology companies, social media companies, etc.
By the first quarter of 2022, MainOne will be opening an additional facility. This will add to its existing three operational data centres.
Speaking about the acquisition of MainOne, Charles Meyers, the President and CEO of Equinix said in a statement that “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. 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 claims to generate annual revenue of approximately $60 million and says it has a team of 500 people. Equinix has 237 data centres across 27 countries globally. It also provides data centre and interconnection services for over 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.
Speaking on the acquisition, MainOne’s CEO Funke Opeke highlighted that the acquisition will help to accelerate the company’s long-term goal of growing digital infrastructure investments across 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”, she explained.
Alongside her team, CEO Funke Opeke will continue to work in their roles until the acquisition is completed.