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Global Data Center Deals Hit $47B, Have More Than Tripled Since 2019


Investors undertook a record $47.1B in data center deals in 2021, up from $34.5B the year before and more than triple the total of $14.9B in 2019, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing Synergy Research Group data.

Big deals were the order of last year, driving the M&A total to the new high. In June, Blackstone bought QTS Realty Trust for $10B and took it private, and in November, data center REITs CyrusOne and CoreSite were both acquired on the same day in separate deals whose combined value exceeded $25B. 

One factor in the appetite for data centers has been the ocean of capital held by private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and others, all looking for profitable places to invest. In previous years, digital infrastructure wasn't always considered the best bet, but the surge in data usage during the coronavirus pandemic has changed some minds.

“We’re seeing a massive uptick in interest level, and there’s a huge supply of cash, but not as much product as the dollars want," Jim Grice, a partner and co-leader of the Global Data Center and Digital Infrastructure Team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, told Bisnow.

Demand for data centers is also quite strong. In the first half of 2021, absorption reached a total of 273.6 megawatts in 14 U.S. data center markets, the second-highest amount after the surge in 2020, JLL reports

Demand for data centers in Northern Virginia, with its proximity to the federal government, remained the largest market by far, with 119 megawatts absorbed in the first half of 2021. Other strong markets include metro Phoenix, Chicago, Salt Lake City and Dallas-Fort Worth.

Going forward, the federal infrastructure bill has the potential to spur even more data usage, directing more than $130B in spending toward improving digital and energy infrastructure.