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As The World Moves Online, KKR Plans $1B UK And European Data Centre Push


The coronavirus pandemic means that even more activities that used to take place in real life now happen online: We have more time to stream TV programmes on platforms like Netflix, and now even the water cooler around which we discuss them is digital in meeting platforms like Zoom.

The trend existed before the pandemic, of course, and is leading to the creation of more data, which necessitates more data storage. And so KKR is the latest private equity firm to move into the data centre space, revealing plans to plough $1B (£800M) of equity into the sector in the UK and Europe.

The infrastructure arm of the U.S. firm said this week it set up a new company, Global Technical Realty, to build and buy data centres. It will be led by sector specialist Franek Sodzawiczny and will look to build a $2.5B portfolio once debt is taken into account. 

Sodzawiczny founded two companies that have become big players in data centres, Zenium and Sentrum. GTR has partnered with Mercury Engineering to design and develop a data centre product specifically catered to the needs of hyperscale cloud service providers — roughly translated, the big cloud service providers like Amazon Web Services that need a lot of space.

Other private equity firms and investment banks like Digital Colony, EQT and Goldman Sachs have all made significant investments in the data centre sector in recent years.