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Equinix to acquire Nigeria’s MainOne for $320mn to expand into Africa

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The African data centre operator has a presence in Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

Equinix announced it is to acquire MainOne and expects the deal to close in Q1 subject to the customary regulatory requirements and other approvals.

Equinix has been on quite a spending spree. Last year it expanded its Idian footprint by acquiring GPX India for $161 million as well as buying 13 data centres from Bell Canada for $780 million.

Into Africa

Equinix said in a statement that its acquisition of MainOne is the first step in its long-term strategy “to become an African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company”.

The statement also said, “With more than 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, along with Ghana, has become an established data center hub. This makes the acquisition a pivotal entry point for Equinix into the continent.”

MainOne's CEO, Funke Opeke (pictured, courtesy of MainOne) set up the company in 2010 in response to the poor internet connectivity endured by Nigerians after returning to the West African country after a stint in the US.

She raised $200 million in equity and debt investment to build West Africa’s first privately owned, open access undersea high capacity cable submarine.

The 7,000 km cable links Portugal to West Africa with landings in Accra, Ghana, Dakar in Senegal, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast and Lagos, Nigeria.

MainOne also has 1,200 km of terrestrial fibre network across southern Nigeria in Lagos, Edo and Ogun states. Connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 points of presence in cities across Portugal, Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

MainOne’s services are used by more than 800 business-to-business customers.

Synergy?

Equinix has 237 data centres in 27 countries and provides data centres and interconnection services for more than 10,000 businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.

Charles Meyers, President and CEO of Equinix said in a statement “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".

Opeke said the acquisition will accelerate MainOne’s long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa.