AirTrunk Owners Said to Seek a Waiver From Current Lenders

The data center operator is reportedly planning to ask lenders to waive a clause that would force it to refinance the debt if the firm is sold.

Bloomberg News

June 24, 2024

2 Min Read
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(Bloomberg) -- The owners of AirTrunk, an Australian data center operator currently up for sale, plan to ask lenders to waive a clause in the company’s loans that would force it to refinance the debt if the firm is sold, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Under the loan agreements, the sale of a controlling stake in AirTrunk will trigger a refinancing of its debt, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is not public. However, lenders can stay in the existing agreements if they agree to waive the change-of-control provisions, the people said. 

Credit Agricole, Deutsche Bank, HSBC Holdings, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group have lined up A$7 billion ($4.6 billion) in financing, which represents all of AirTrunk’s existing borrowings, said the people familiar. That includes a A$4.6 billion sustainability-linked loan in 2023 and facilities borrowed by its other operating subsidiaries. 

They have provided the pre-arranged financing to bidders to fill any potential funding gap in the event some lenders choose not to waive the change-of-control clause and exit the loans. Bloomberg News reported on the A$7 billion financing last week. 

AirTrunk’s owners – including Macquarie Asset Management and PSP Investments – have kicked off a sale process that has attracted interest from Blackstone and DigitalBridge Group, together with IFM Investors, and Global Infrastructure Partners, according to people familiar. They were seeking a valuation of around A$12 billion, Bloomberg News reported previously, making the transaction one of Asia Pacific’s biggest digital infrastructure deals this year. 

Related:KKR, Singtel to Invest $1.3B in Data Center Firm STT GDC

The regional industry continues to benefit from the boom in artificial intelligence. KKR & Company agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Singapore Telecommunications’s regional data center business last year, while Blackstone announced the launch of its first wholly-owned data center platform in Asia in 2022.

AirTrunk’s shareholders, Blackstone and IFM Investors declined to comment while Global Infrastructure Partners and DigitalBridge didn’t respond to requests outside business hours. 

AirTrunk runs data centers in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and Malaysia, according to its website. A group led by Macquarie’s infrastructure arm took control of the company in 2020 in a deal that valued it at about A$3 billion, Bloomberg reported at the time. Prior to that, it was owned by investors including Goldman Sachs Group’s special situations division.

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