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Liberty Global, Digital Colony to develop edge data centres in Europe

News

The two intend to form a joint venture (JV) called AtlasEdge to enable applications and services such as 5G, gaming, IoT and edge compute.

Liberty Global and Digital Colony’s new JV entity AtlasEdge is intended to serve the “growing European demand for scalable data center capacity that brings applications and content closer to the edge,” they said in a statement.

The JV is subject to securing the usual regulatory and merger approvals, but the partners hope to close the transaction in Q3.

Acting as enabler

AtlasEdge aims to serve the growing demand from cloud providers, streaming services and enterprises for high-performance, scalable and secure facilities through which they can distribute low-latency applications and services such as 5G, gaming, IoT and edge compute.

Liberty Global will contribute digital infrastructure assets, including its technical real estate portfolios, “at levels consistent with European digital infrastructure valuations, highlighting the strong underlying value embedded in its businesses”.

The company will also provide strategic and operational support to the business. Digital Colony will contribute operating expertise, strategic direction and capital. Josh Joshi will join and lead AtlasEdge’s Board of Directors as Executive Chairman.

Anchor tenancies

AtlasEdge will be supported by anchor tenancies from Liberty Global operating companies – Virgin Media in the UK and in Ireland, Sunrise-UPC in Switzerland and UPC in Poland. Liberty Global has just received final approval for Virgin Media to merge with Telefonica UK/O2.

Liberty Global said this will provide, “unprecedented local reach into consumers and businesses, will provide infrastructure services to third parties at the edge with a focus on performance, low-latency, scalability and quality of experience”.

Marc Ganzi, President and CEO of Colony Capital and CEO of Digital Colony, commented, “The proposed joint venture will unlock the growth potential of Liberty’s digital real estate holdings and capitalize on the emerging demand we are seeing for edge compute across Europe.

“It’s an opportunity for us to apply the entire Digital Colony value-add playbook, leveraging our operating expertise, strategic M&A capabilities, and access to institutional capital in partnership with a world-class organization like Liberty Global.

“I also know AtlasEdge will benefit from Josh Joshi’s insights and network across the digital infrastructure landscape."