- Telefónica reportedly eyeing up €150m sale of twelve more DCs to Asterion.
- Also said to be angling for a stake in interrelated DC manager Nabiax.
- Same VC fund bought eleven Telefónica DCs in 2019, aiding Group efforts to alleviate debt and monetise assets.
Telefónica is reportedly in talks to hand over a further twelve data centres to Madrid-based energy, communications and data investor Asterion Industrial Partners, the same outfit that purchased eleven centres from the Group in May 2019 (Telefónicawatch, #135).
The latest sites, omitted from the previous $550m deal, would be worth an estimated €150m to Asterion, and sources close to the matter were cited by Spanish outlet El Confidencial as saying the operator had received a binding offer.
The move would follow other instances of physical asset sales over the past twelve months, highlighted by Telefónica as key milestones. It parlayed 1,900 Brazilian towers to its dedicated infrastructure arm Telxius, and jettisoned 2,029 towers in Colombia and Ecuador. Most recently, Telxius took control of around 10,100 mobile tower sites from Telefónica Deutschland (O2 Germany). The deal is expected to cost Telxius €1.5bn and reduce Telefónica’s net debt by €500m by 2021 (Telefónicawatch, #144).
Telefónica’s long-running efforts to reduce its indebtedness was flagged as a key driver for the initial sale, when the assets were said to have been offloaded “based on a strategy of value creation, improving return on capital and strategic positioning”, a mission the Group has yet to complete.
The reports further suggest that Telefónica may be seeking a stake in Nabiax, the portfolio company that Asterion established to manage its previously-acquired batch of data centres in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Spain. All of Nabiax’s facilities were built by and bought from Telefónica.
Currently, Telefónica continues to provide and manage services to end-customers, with Nabiax housing and marketing the centres and their remaining capacity. Nabiax apparently claims that available capacity stretches to “six times” current usage.
Asterion is no stranger to Telefónica’s global businesses. Following its May 2019 data centre purchase, it went on to acquire Telefónica España’s domestic microwave radio-link portfolio for an undisclosed sum, to be housed within its Marconi portfolio company. At the time, Asterion claimed the network was one of the “largest in Spain” (Telefónicawatch, #143). The investor’s Chief Executive Emilio Diaz is supported by Director of Sales, Strategy & Business Development Eduardo Gomez Leal, a veteran of several Telefónica Group entities over the past 30 years.