Nigeria’s MainOne acquired in $320m deal by US data centre giant Equinix

CEO and founder Funke Opeke will continue to lead the West Africa-focused data centre and submarine network firm following the takeover.

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NASDAQ-listed US digital infrastructure company Equinix is to acquire West African data centre and network firm MainOne in a $320m deal.

MainOne, founded by CEO Funke Opeke in 2010, has three operational data centres, with an additional facility under construction expected to open in Q1 2022.

The firm also owns and operates a submarine network extending 7,000km from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the west African coast, as well as 1,200km of terrestrial fibre network across the Nigeria states of Lagos, Edo and Odun.

The facilities, which serve over 800 business-to-business customers, generate approximately $60m annualised revenues, according to a statement announcing the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, MainOne’s management team, including Opeke, will continue to serve in their roles. The team oversee a workforce of around 500 staff.

Equinix, which is based in Redwood City, California, currently has 237 data centres across 27 countries and serves 10,000 businesses. The acquisition, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, will add more than 64,000 gross sq ft of space to the firm, with 570,000 sq ft of land for future expansions.

Critical point of entry to African market for Equinix

In a statement, Equinix said that the acquisition was part of a “long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company”.

“The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing African market,” said Charles Meyers, president and CEO of Equinix.

“MainOne’s leading interconnection position and experienced management team represent critical assets in our aspirations to be the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure in Africa… MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem and operating capability will extend the reach of Platform Equinix and bolster opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world.”

MainOne’s Opeke also hailed the deal: “Equinix will accelerate our long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa… With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built in 12 years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey. The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together.” 

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