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Telefónica flogs four data centres to Asterion child company

Written by Thu 18 Feb 2021

Telco sells off facilities to Nabiax for €100 million euros

Telefónica is cashing in on four more data centres, selling the facilities to same company set up by investment management firm Asterion to manage its 2019 fire-sale.

The European telecommunications giant will fetch around €100 million for the four data centres, writes El Economista, which first broke the news.

The four DCs add to the 11 Telefónica sold to the Madrid-based energy, communications and infrastructure investor in 2019. That deal fetched the telco a cool €550 million.

Nabiax, the portfolio company Asterion established to manage those 11 data centres in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Spain, will have the controlling stake in another company that Asterion will set up to integrate its booming data centre portfolio.

El Economista reports Telefónica will have some stake in this new entity but the deal is still officially under wraps.

Data centre fire-sale

Telcos like Telefónica are increasingly letting go of infrastructure assets that sit outside of their core specialities to balance their books after steadily acquiring significant debt since the internet boom of the 2000s.

Their mounting debt piles are in part due to costs associated with infrastructure modernisation for 4G and 5G networks, but are also a result of failed attempts to go-to-toe with emerging Big Tech players of the 21st century, such as Facebook, Spotify and Netflix, which saw them invest heavily in internet infrastructure.

By selling facilities to data centre experts, telcos pocket a lot of cash upfront and then become tenants within a multi-tenant model, leasing space within the facility they used to own.

It’s not just data centres that telcos are selling off but distributed infrastructure like cell towers. At the beginning of 2021, Telefonica sold its Telxius tower division to “towerco” American Towers for 7.7 billion euros.

Written by Thu 18 Feb 2021


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