Thursday, 14 July 2023
Aware Super has added its first data centre investment to the fund’s circa A$16 billion global infrastructure portfolio with a significant investment in Switch, a US-based 100% renewablespowered data centre platform.
The investment was made via a partnership with DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (NYSE: DBRG) (“DigitalBridge”). It follows the take-private of Switch in December 2022 in which investment vehicles affiliated with the investment management platform of DigitalBridge and an affiliate of IFM Investors acquired all outstanding common shares of Switch, Inc. for US$34.25 per share in cash, or approximately US$11 billion, including the repayment of outstanding debt.
Aware Super’s Head of Infrastructure, Mark Hector, said he was excited by the opportunity to bring further diversification and an additional source of risk-adjusted returns for the fund, which currently serves 1.2 million members.
”Incorporating our first data centre platform will create desirable sector and geographic diversification for our portfolio and offer inflation protection,” he said.
Jon Mauck, Senior Managing Director at DigitalBridge, said: “Aware Super recognises the role of digital infrastructure in the ongoing digitisation of the global economy, and we welcome the opportunity to partner with them to invest in Switch, one of the industry's fastest-growing and highest-quality data centre portfolios.”
Kevin Smithen, Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer at DigitalBridge, said: “As a renewables-powered digital infrastructure investment, Switch is at the forefront of innovation in the data centre industry, and we are delighted to partner with Aware Super as they further expand their portfolio into North America and Europe and increase exposure to high-quality digital infrastructure investments.”
Mr Hector noted the asset's achievement of offering secure and resilient data centre facilities, having experienced zero downtime in its over-20-years operating history.
He also highlighted Switch’s 16 data centres, spread across five campuses with 500MWs of inplace capacity, are powered by 100% renewable energy.
”Since 2016, Switch has achieved zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions, a feat that is combined with their patented innovations in design, power, cooling, and density, to result in industry-leading operational efficiencies.
”All of these characteristics are coupled with strong digitalisation tailwinds, an attractive business case and successful track record, to make a compelling investment opportunity.”
He added the Infrastructure Team’s focus on direct and selective co-investment opportunities with trusted, like-minded partners helped generate the strongest possible riskadjusted returns.
“We look forward to working alongside the highly experienced team at Switch and our equity partner DigitalBridge, as it continues to build momentum along its growth trajectory in this enterprise co-location and private cloud business with a well-diversified customer base.”