Gillian Tan (Bloomberg) -- Digital Realty Trust is in talks to buy Brazilian data center operator Ascenty, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Digital Realty, a San Francisco-based real estate investment trust with a market value of $24 billion, could invest in Ascenty alongside a joint venture partner, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. Last October, the company announced a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. focused on data centers in Japan. No deal has been reached for Ascenty and it’s possible that one could fall apart.
John Stewart, a representative for Digital Realty, declined to comment. Representatives for Ascenty and Great Hill Partners, Ascenty’s majority owner, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Ascenty has US dollar-denominated contracts with clients including Oracle Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. Bloomberg reported in April that Great Hill was fielding takeover offers and that any deal could value it at roughly $1 billion. One of the people with knowledge of the Digital Realty talks said any deal would likely be much higher than that, declining to detail the exact terms.
Blackstone Group LP’s tactical opportunities group owns a minority stake in the company, which has eight data centers in operation in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Ceara that are connected by a roughly 2,500-mile (4,000-kilometer) proprietary fiber network. It’s unclear whether Blackstone will remain invested, and a spokesman declined to comment.
Any deal would follow a recent increase in mergers and acquisitions in the sector, which is viewed as a more defensive segment of both real estate and infrastructure because of an increasing need for data storage. AT&T Inc. has sold its data centers to Brookfield Infrastructure and its partners for $1.1 billion, while an arm of Macquarie Group Ltd. is close to a deal for T5 Data Centers, Bloomberg has reported.
Digital Realty has been acquisitive too. Last September, it completed the purchase of DuPont Fabros Technology Inc. for $7.8 billion, including debt. And, in 2016, it bought eight European data centers from Equinix Inc. for about $874 million.