KKR To Buy 20% Of Singtel's Datacenter Arm For $800 Million
KKR & Co. agreed to pay S$1.1 billion ($807 million) for a fifth of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.’s regional datacenter business, making its latest bet on Asian digital infrastructure.
(Bloomberg) -- KKR & Co. agreed to pay S$1.1 billion ($807 million) for a fifth of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.’s regional datacenter business, making its latest bet on Asian digital infrastructure.
The investment firm will have an option to raise its stake to 25% by 2027, it said in a statement, under a deal that puts the Singtel unit’s enterprise value at about S$5.5 billion. Singapore’s largest telecoms provider will use the capital to bankroll an expansion across Southeast Asia and make inroads into new markets such as Malaysia.
KKR is one of the region’s biggest investors in the server networks and piping needed to power the internet and train a new generation of AI services, demand for which is surging in the wake of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
The private equity firm raised $3.9 billion for its first Asia-Pacific infrastructure fund around 2021, amassing one of the region’s largest pools of capital to funnel into everything from renewable energy to communication towers. Digital activity surged during the pandemic, though internet valuations have since come down as Covid petered out. The firm’s past investments encompassed Indian electricity companies and Pinnacle Towers, the leading power producer and a telecoms operator in the Philippines.
Read more: KKR Raises $3.9 Billion in Biggest Asia Infrastructure Fund
Global private equity firms in past years have shifted away from focusing on buyouts toward becoming investment houses with portfolios of alternative assets such as infrastructure and real estate. They’re finding willing recipients among governments in Asia, who need private capital to finance airports, toll roads and utilities.
The regional datacenter market is expected to grow by an average of 17% over the next five years, attracting $9 billion to $13 billion of investments during that period, KKR and Singtel said in their joint statement. They expect their deal to close around the end of 2023.
(Updates with details of the deal from the second paragraph)
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