The company has announced the sale of four data centres to investment firm Asterion Industrial Partners in exchange for a 20% stake in Nabiax, the firm’s colocation and housing services business
Today, Telefonica has announced that it has offloaded four of its data centres – two in Chile, and two in Spain – in exchange for a 20% stake in Nabiax, the company acquiring them.
The story here begins two years ago, when Telefonica sold Asterion Industrial Partners 11 data centres across seven countries for around €550 million. Following this, Asterion formed Nabiax, a company offering colocation and hosting services across Spain and Latin America.
For Telefonica, the 2019 sale was part of its then relatively new strategy of monetising its assets to reduce debt. This strategy has since seen a renewed focus on the company’s home markets and a gradual withdrawal from its Latin American businesses, excluding Brazil.
This latest sale seems to be a natural continuation of that monetisation strategy, which saw Telefonica sell its tower company Telxius to American Towers Corporation earlier this year for €7.7 billion.
Telefonica were quick to point out that the sale does not include company hardware in the data centres or access to the customers hosted on them.
“The agreement announced today allows Telefónica to crystallize the value of its infrastructure assets, while preserving intact Telefónica’s commercial positioning, client relationships and leadership in cloud, hosting and housing services provided to corporate customers,” said Telefonica in a statement.
The 20% stake in Nabiax that Telefonica is acquiring means that Telefonica is not completely cut off from their previous assets and instead marks the start of a strategic partnership, with Telefonica set to work with Nabiax to explore opportunities surrounding edge computing and data centre automation.
“Additionally, through the 20% stake that Telefónica Infra will hold in Nabiax, Telefónica retains exposure to a global data centre platform with attractive growth prospects participating in the company’s value upside,” read the statement.
Telefonica is not alone in looking to monetise their passive infrastructure, with investors’ appetite for infrastructure higher than ever. In Africa, Helios Towers have been purchasing towers from various operators throughout the continent. Meanwhile, in Europe, Cellnex is in the process of purchasing all of CK Hutchison’s European towers for around €9 billion.
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