Australian pension fund to invest $1.6 billion in data centre firm

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s largest pension fund, AustralianSuper, said on Tuesday it would buy a minority stake in a major European data centre business for A$2.5 billion ($1.6 billion), its first significant investment into data centre platforms.

The A$300 billion AustralianSuper will join U.S. investment manager DigitalBridge as a key shareholder in Vantage Data’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, it said in a statement.

Institutional investors have been drawn to data centres, which house servers and hardware equipment. Dealmaking in the sector has spiked in recent years as requirements for big technology companies to manage and store data increase.

AustralianSuper head of infrastructure, Nik Kemp, said the investment was the fund’s largest infrastructure deal in Europe and “would provide access to an attractive market that had delivered strong growth and returns in recent years.”

DigitalBridge Group would remain the majority owner of Vantage EMEA. AustralianSuper did not specify other financial details, including the valuation.

AustralianSuper expects to grow member assets to A$500 billion within five years and will deploy roughly 70% of its inflows to global markets. Half of the fund’s assets are invested outside Australia, with just over a tenth in Europe.

The fund in August appointed senior executives to its London office as part of its push to expand its presence overseas.

($1 = 1.5557 Australian dollars)

(Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney; Editing by Sam Holmes)