Long-time data center real estate entrepreneur and executive John Sheputis has joined GI Partners, a private equity firm that also has a long track record in the business.
He joins GI following the recent sale of assets of Infomart Data Centers to Equinix and Stack Infrastructure in two separate transactions. Sheputis served as Infomart’s president for four years prior to the sale.
As a managing director, he now leads GI’s real estate acquisitions and development, joining at a time of considerable hunger by institutional investors to park their money in leasable data center properties. The pool of investors in such assets in recent years widened from a small group of specialist private equity players, such as GI, and lenders to include the likes of pension funds and traditional-infrastructure investors.
Sheputis cut his teeth in the data center space as a founder of Fortune Data Centers, launched in 2007. One of the Silicon Valley wholesale data center provider’s customers was Facebook.
Fortune merged with the Dallas Infomart, operator of one of North America’s most important network interconnection points, in 2014 to form Infomart Data Centers.
Last year, after Infomart Data Centers’ owner ASB Real Estate Investments sold the Dallas Infomart to Equinix for $800 million, what remained were the ex-Fortune assets in San Jose, California, as well as buildings in Hillsboro, Oregon (leased by LinkedIn), and Ashburn, Virginia.
ASB sold those remaining assets to IPI Data Center Partners, which combined them with some of the T5 Data Centers assets it owned to form a new wholesale data center player called Stack Infrastructure.
GI has been behind some of the biggest companies in the data center provider space, including Digital Realty Trust, which it formed and took public in 2004.
In 2006, GI acquired Telx, one of the dominant US retail colocation and interconnection players, which it sold to Abry Partners and Berkshire Partners five years later. In 2015, Telx was acquired by Digital Realty for $1.9 billion.
Also in 2006, GI acquired SoftLayer, merging it later with other acquired data center assets, and eventually selling it to IBM in 2013 for $2 billion.
The private equity firm currently owns Flexential, one of the biggest players in secondary US colocation markets, formed by merging Peak 10, which GI bought in 2014, and ViaWest, which it bought in 2017.