Global asset manager, Blackstone Group, has entered the data center business in Asia with a plan for two large hyper-scale data centers in India with a combined capacity of 600 MW.
Lumina CloudInfra is a data center platform owned and managed by Blackstone’s Real Estate and Tactical Opportunities funds. To begin with, Lumina is looking at two large-scale assets in Mumbai and Chennai, and later expansion into Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, and Pune, as it intends to cash in on India’s booming data center market, according to mint.
Anil Reddy, former head of Global Cloud Infrastructure at Microsoft Inc., will head the platform as the global CEO to lead its strategy, expansion and growth across Asia. including Sujeet Deshpande, who has joined Colt Data Center Services, is CEO of the Indian business.
In 2021, Blackstone announced its foray into warehousing and this year the focus is to get a foothold in the Indian data center business. According to Lumina, India’s data center market is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2027.
Japanese firm NTT announced in May it would expand its data center footprint in India to 12 facilities, covering 2.5 million square feet and generating 220 megawatts
According to Anil Reddy, chief executive officer of Lumina,
“The data center sector is anchored by strong demand for data creation and storage around the world, particularly in India where many of the fastest-growing companies are based. Demand for data centers is driven by India’s growth as a technology hub, internet and mobile consumption, and government initiatives for a digital economy. As the digitalization megatrend continues accelerating, Lumina will look for opportunities to expand its footprint in India and other Asian markets.”
Jasvinder Khaira, head of digital infrastructure at Blackstone’s Tactical Opportunities Group said:
The foray into data center business through Lumina showcases Blackstone’s strengths, scale, network, and sector expertise, to address India’s growing demand for mission critical data infrastructure.The growth of the public and private cloud is one of Blackstone’s highest conviction investment themes globally, particularly in India where many of its investments have centered around technology-enabled businesses and properties.”
Asheesh Mohta, head of real estate acquisitions in India for Blackstone, said:
“This is a unique, fully integrated platform with capabilities in development, operations, management, and leasing, and adds to our strong track record of building high-quality data center business globally and real asset portfolios of scale in India.”
In Navi Mumbai, Blackstone is in the advanced stage of acquiring two data centers in Airoli and Mahape, and in Chennai, it is in the process to acquire a land parcel to set up a center.
Blackstone’s current investments in digital infrastructure include QTS Realty Trust in the U.S, which it bought in 2021 for about $10 billion, a string of data centers in Japan on long-term contracts with top cloud service providers, Phoenix Towers International, a private cell tower platform in America and Europe, and Hotwire Communications, a pioneer in fiber optic technology.
Blackstone has built real asset portfolios of scale across major asset classes including logistics, retail, and office, and world-leading businesses in major sectors such as technology and financial services.