July 14, 2016

Digital Bridge acquires data center company DataBank

The deal further consolidates the burgeoning demand for data and video among U.S. businesses and is fueling a revival in fiber optic services and data storage.

Digital Bridge, the wireless communications provider, is buying DataBank, a private Dallas-based data center company, the companies announced on Thursday.

Digital Bridge did not disclose how much it paid for DataBank, which is being sold by private equity firm Avista Capital Partners. A source familiar with the deal said the company, which is based in the Federal Reserve Bank Building in Dallas, was valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The deal is the latest sign of consolidation in the data center sector, as the burgeoning demand for data and video is fueling a revival in fiber optic services and data storage.

Telecommunications firms such as Verizon and CenturyLink have been selling their data center portfolios recently, hoping to take advantage of the high valuations achievable through sales to private equity firms or companies that specialize in data centers such as Equinix and Digital Realty.

DataBank has six data centers, which it manages in Dallas, Minneapolis and Kansas City. This marks the first acquisition by Boca Raton, Florida-based Digital Bridge of a data center company. The firm, which owns and operates telecommunications infrastructure companies, has raised more than $4 billion in debt and equity since it was founded in 2013.

Digital Bridge has previously invested in small cell tower company ExteNet Systems and Vertical Bridge, a wireless infrastructure company that has completed 50 acquisitions. The firm has said it plans to invest $500 million of equity into the U.S. data center space.

As part of the deal, Michael Foust, founder and former CEO of Digital Realty Trust, will join the board of the company. Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), Allstate Investments and The Edgewater Funds are also investors in the deal.

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