Bloomberg News has reported that US-based investors DigitalBridge Group Inc., I Squared Capital-owned BDx, and Equinix Inc. are all potential suitors for the data centre business of Malaysia’s Time Dotcom Bhd..
Time Dotcom, which is backed by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd., offers fixed-line voice and broadband services to consumers and businesses, and also offers enterprise solutions in cloud and security.
Citing people familiar with the bidding who declined to be named, Bloomberg added that Digital Edge and Temasek Holdings’ ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) were also among possible bidders for Time Dotcom’s assets, which are known as Aims Data Centre.
A potential deal for the Aims Data Centre could raise approximately 500 million USD to 600 million USD.
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Strong Takeover Interest for Data Centre Companies in APAC
While these investors are still considering their bid, there have nonetheless been indications of strong interest in Malaysian data centres. For instance, Braham Singh, chief executive officer of BDx, responded to a query from Bloomberg News, saying that “Malaysia is a potential future location for BDx facilities as the company looks to expand its footprint across Asia.”
Malaysia has also drawn in foreign investors to support the building of cloud infrastructure and data centres within the country. For instance, Wiwynn Corporation recently commenced its second phase of development for a server printed board circuit assembly plant for its cloud data centres in Johor.
Data centre companies within the Asia Pacific region (APAC) tend to attract strong takeover interest from investors, as investors typically perceive that these companies have stable returns and expectations of ongoing growth, since people are increasingly adopting technology and seeking cloud-based online solutions.
An Asia Pacific Data Centre Trends 2H2021 report by CBRE found that direct investments in the APAC data centre sector have shown strong momentum. According to the report, in 2021, the data centre sector saw a total of US 4.8 billion in investments, which was more than double of the total investments record in 2020.
Notably, the marked increase in investments were supported by several large portfolio deals, including major purchases, such as Vantage Data Centres’ acquisitions of Agile Data Centres and Hong Kong telecom PCCW’s data centre businesses.
While Malaysia may be considered a mature data centre market, it remains a site of great opportunity for data centre investments within the Southeast Asia region due to its abundant reserves of resources and favourable government support for the data centre industry.
As such, investors are drawn to Malaysia’s data centre industry because of its prime location. It remains to be seen how the bidding for Time Dotcom’s data centre business will be resolved.