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Equinix Signs $320m Deal with Funke Opeke’s MainOne

A multinational company Equinix Inc. on Tuesday announced the acquisition of MainOne, a West African data center and connectivity solutions provider with a presence in Nigeria, Ghana, and Côte d’Ivoire, for $320 million.

The sale is expected to close during the first quarter of next year, contingent upon its meeting the conditions typical of a sale of this type, including regulatory approval.

Funke Opeke founded MainOne in 2010. The company is a major enterprise connectivity provider, with over 800 business-to-business customers, including social media companies, major telecoms, and financial firms.

The company owns and operates an extensive submarine cable network extending 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) from Portugal to Lagos, Accra, and along the West African coast. These cables connect Portugal to the major business communities in Nigeria and Ghana.

Main One connectivity

In addition to three operational data centers, MainOne owns key internet exchanges that enable low latency to key global networks, including Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook.

Under the terms of the agreement, the management team, including CEO Opeke, will continue to serve in their respective roles.

“The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition,” Opeke said in the statement. “With similar values and culture to what we have built in 12 years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey and will accelerate our long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa.”

The deal marks the first step in a long-term strategy for Equinix to make use of its data centres and internet connectivity expertise to become a leading provider of digital infrastructure in Africa.

Equinix called MainOne “one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa”, arguing that the deal will give his company an important foothold on the continent.

“Expansion in Africa has long been a strategic priority for us. With MainOne, we have found a company that not only has highly complementary data center and connectivity assets but can further accelerate the expansion of our business model and growth objectives,” said Eugene Bergen, EMEA President at Equinix.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates SSA is home to approximately 700 million of the world’s 3.7 billion people without access to the internet. More so, available infrastructure in the region is barely enough for the current internet users.

Globally, Platform Equinix is comprised of 237 data centres across 65 metros and 27 countries, providing data centre and interconnection services for over 10,000 businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies. When completed, the acquisition will extend Platform Equinix into West Africa.

“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,” added Charles Meyers, President and CEO of Equinix.

MainOne’s founding shareholders include Nigerian businessman and founder of Guaranty Trust Bank, Fola Adeola, MainStreet Technologies, the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund (PAIDF), First Bank, Polaris Bank, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

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