Gary Wojtaszek and Kevin Timmons, who until recently led CyrusOne, one of the world’s largest data center providers, as CEO and CTO, respectively, are said to be involved in a planned digital infrastructure SPAC, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
It is one of three blank-check companies being put together by InterPrivate. The private equity firm is looking to raise at least $600 million for the new SPACs.
If the digital infrastructure SPAC comes together as planned, it will be a marriage of two hot trends in the world of investing today: SPACs and infrastructure underneath all the digital services society has come to rely on so much.
Acronym for “special-purpose acquisition company,” a SPAC is today the hottest thing after bitcoin. SPACs are essentially pools of investor money that go public first and then acquire – or “merge with” – real companies, giving businesses a much quicker and easier path to public markets than traditional IPOs. SPACs also make it relatively easy for investors to get out and get their money back if they want.
The concept has existed for decades, but it was never as popular as it became last year, when investors got worried that the pandemic would slow traditional IPOs.
SPACs have raised $40.6 billion so far this year through 133 IPOs, according to SPAC Research. Close to 250 such investment vehicles went public last year, raising a record $83.4 billion.
The data center sector and the broader digital-infrastructure space, which also includes things like fiber networks and wireless towers, have seen an influx of institutional investors in recent years. While investors are on the hunt for data center assets to put money in, there aren’t many experienced executive teams around to lead the new businesses that operate those assets.
Wojtaszek resigned from CyrusOne one year ago. Timmons left last September. They led the company for about nine years, including taking it public in 2013.
The three SPACs InterPrivate intends to form will be called InterPrivate II, III, and IV, according to Bloomberg, which cited an anonymous source familiar with the plans. The company has already formed one SPAC, InterPrivate Acquisition Corp., which is merging with a laser-sensor startup called Aeva, led by two former Apple engineers.
One of the two SPACs besides the digital-infrastructure one will focus on technology and the other on financial services.
An unrelated SPAC looking to merge with digital-infrastructure businesses went public just today. Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Corp. priced its 30 million shares at $10 apiece, raising $300 million.
It “intends to pursue opportunities that are driving the electrical power grid transition, both on the supply and demand side, as well as seeking co-optimization opportunities between supply and demand, of the electrical grid in the US.” This could mean using data center energy storage to help balance supply and demand on a grid increasingly powered by intermittent renewable energy sources.