Big Data Exchange, the data centre platform of Hong Kong internet provider HGC Global Communications, has completed the acquisition of its first facility outside of Greater China as part of a A$160 million ($102 million) deal as the company looks to take a slice of the surging cloud services demand in Southeast Asia.
The Hong Kong-based company announced that by adding the new facility in Singapore, which it acquired from Aussie telecommunications giant Telstra along with a pair of European assets, it has brought its data centre portfolio to eight properties, as it expands its services across the region.
“Expanding into Singapore was our first choice outside of the Greater China area and a strategic one on account of its proximity to other countries in Asia,” said BDx’s CEO, Braham Singh.
Although the details BDx’s acquisition of the facility dubbed “SIN1” have not been disclosed, Telstra revealed the compensation for the set of three server barns in a bourse filing last August which identified I-Squared Capital, which owns HGC, as the buyer.
BDx and I-Squared had not responded to enquiries from Mingtiandi at the time of publication, and an announcement regarding the acquisition of the additional two European data centres has not yet been made.
Acquiring a Singapore Data Centre
Located in Paya Lebar, BDx said it plans to upgrade the 1,800-rack facility, which has a 7.3 megawatt capacity, to increase its power usage efficiency. BDx had originally reached an agreement to buy the server centre from Telstra last year.
Formerly known as Telstra SGCS2, the eight-storey data centre was opened in 2014 with 155,000 square feet (14,400 square metres) of colocation space.
“This Singapore data centre allows us to provide critical connectivity into the Southeast Asian market,” said David Kim, BDx’s chief operating officer.
Kim added that SIN1 gives BDx customers the opportunity to expand into the region via the company’s network of data centres across Asia, which now includes locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou, and Nanjing. In February of this year, BDx announced that its 3,800-rack facility in Nanjing will open in June.
Growing a Portfolio of Server Farms
BDx is planting its flag in Singapore just two months after the city was ranked by Cushman & Wakefield as one of the top five data centre destinations in the world.
The property consultancy announced its ranking after studying 38 global markets in terms of cloud availability, fibre connectivity and market size, as well as development pipeline, government incentives, and sustainability.
Singapore was the only Asian location in the top ten, with the remaining nine places going to Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Seattle and London.
Buying a Telco from Li Ka-shing
US private equity firm I-Squared Capital acquired HGC, a subsidiary of Li Ka-shing-controlled Hutchison Telecommunications, two and a half years ago for HK$14.5 billion ($1.9 billion).
The sale generated approximately HK$5.8 billion in profit for Hutchison, according to a bourse filing lodged at the time. For ASX-listed Telstra, the sale of the Singapore data centre to BDx was part of a monetisation effort after the telecom operator lost A$600 million last year on an EBITDA basis.
In addition to selling its server facilities in Singapore and Europe, Telstra last August sold a 49 percent stake in a set of 37 telephone exchanges for A$700 million to a trust jointly owned by a consortium led by Australian fund manager Charter Hall.