HomeAutomation/AIInfratil snaps up global interconnect platform Console Connect 

    Infratil snaps up global interconnect platform Console Connect 


    Institutional investor expands telecom portfolio with majority stake 

    New Zealand-based infrastructure investment company Infratil has bought an 80% stake in global software-defined interconnection platform Console Connect for $160 million, owned by PCCW’s Hong Kong Telecom (HKT). 

    The stake is part of a new strategic partnership with HKT that will see the two companies jointly invest up to $295m in Console Connect to boost its growth via marketing, R&D, and new subsea cable investments over a two-year period. 

    The Console Connect platform simplifies connectivity to data centres, partners, clouds, and other applications and features fully automated switching and routing. Console Connect also owns its global IP network which has been developed over many years and the company claims it has been a top 10 Tier 1 network globally for the last five years, serving around 17% of all internet traffic and reaching more than 150 countries and more than 900 data centre locations. 

    Infratil CEO Jason Boyes said the investment in Console Connect builds Infratil’s presence in Asia and is complementary to its digital infrastructure investments globally, which include CDC Data Centres and One NZ (formally Vodafone NZ) in Oceania, Kao Data in the United Kingdom and Clearvision Ventures in the US. 

    “Console Connect…enables us to invest in building a next generation platform to support underlying growth in the demand for digital infrastructure and global connectivity solutions by enterprise and wholesale users,” he said. “Our partners in HKT have built a highly attractive software-defined interconnection platform over the past several years and we look forward to investing alongside them to accelerate the growth of Console Connect.” 

    HKT group managing director Susanna Hui said: “We are pleased to have found a like-minded partner in Infratil who is excited about the potential opportunities to continue growing Console Connect.” 

    Console Connect’s on-demand model is a capital efficient way to monetise unused network capacity, significantly improving network economics. Through the Console Connect portal or via its API, users can access a broad range of native and third-party solutions. It also offers a wide range of security, voice, mobility, SD-WAN, colocation and managed network solutions that complement its automated services. 

    Following this initial period of growth investment, Infratil will own between 60-80% of Console Connect, with HKT holding the remainder. The ultimate ownership stakes will reflect the relative equity contributions of each party over this initial 2-year period.  

    Completion of the acquisition is conditional on telecommunication, foreign investment regulatory approvals and merger approvals in Australia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, and the USA. Assuming those approvals are granted, completion is currently expected by Q3 2024. 

    Console Connect in EMEA 

    Around one-third of Console Connect’s staff are based in EMEA. Chief executive Marc Halbfinger has been with the PCCW-HKT Group for the past 20 years including 13 years as chief executive of Console Connect. 

    It recently extended its partnership with the London Internet Exchange (LINX) to resell peering services at LINX Nova; its Internet Exchange Point (IXP) in the US. In May, France-IX joined its ecosystem, which includes DE-CIX in Germany and AMS-IX in the Netherlands. 

    The company recently also partnered GlobalNet’s DataIX peering location in Amsterdam which brings access to 60 PoPs across 10 countries, including the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Bulgaria.  

    In April the company launched a new Access Port service, Edge Port, which enables businesses to plug directly into the Console Connect platform from enterprise locations worldwide. Businesses can order an Edge Port to their office location in 10 markets, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Africa, UK and the US.