Exclusive-Brookfield nears 3.5 billion euro deal for Data4 -sources

By Amy-Jo Crowley, Andres Gonzalez and Milana Vinn

(Reuters) – Brookfield Asset Management is in exclusive talks to acquire a majority stake in Data4, in a deal that could value the data center operator at close to 3.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion) including debt, people familiar with the matter said.

Brookfield has prevailed over other investment firms in an auction that Data4’s majority owner, Axa Investment Managers, held for the company, the sources said on Friday.

If negotiations and financing arrangements are concluded successfully, a deal could be announced as early as next week, the sources added.

The sources cautioned that there remained a chance that no deal would be completed and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. Brookfield declined to comment, while representatives for Data4 and AXA Investments, a division of French insurer AXA, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Headquartered in Paris, Data4 operates at least 25 data centers across France, Italy, Spain and Luxembourg, according to its website. Its customers include cloud operators and companies.

AXA acquired Data4 in 2018 for an undisclosed sum. In 2020, it sold a 20% stake in Data4 to Danish pension fund PFA.

Investment interest in data centers has spiked as the inflation-adjusted contracts many of them enjoy have made them attractive assets in an environment of soaring prices.

Private equity firm EQT is in talks to acquire data centre provider Global Switch in a deal that could top $8 billion including debt, Reuters reported last week.

(Reporting Amy-Jo Crowley and Andres Gonzalez in London and Milana Vinn in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)