Goldman Sachs to invest $500 million in data center development platform

Wall Street continues to see the data center industry as a viable investment.

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The data center industry continues to grow. Amazon, Google, Equinix, Digital Reality Trust, and numerous other providers can't build their data centers fast enough, spurring investments in startups and a hefty amount of M&A activity. The sector was hot before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crisis has only increased interest as companies accelerate their migrations to the cloud.

Goldman Sachs is the latest to make a big play in the data center market. The firm's Merchant Banking Division is partnering with a management team led by Digital Reality co-founder and former chief investment officer Scott Peterson to form a new company, Global Compute Infrastructure LP.

Goldman Sachs has initially committed to fund up to $500 million of equity capital, primarily from its infrastructure fund, to enable approximately $1.5 billion in near-term investments deployed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Global Compute intends to grow through a combination of acquisitions and organic development to serve customers in geographies with potential for significant data infrastructure growth.

"We see a tremendous opportunity in the data-center space driven by increasing computing and storage demand, and we believe the Global Compute team, backed by the global resources of Goldman Sachs, is uniquely positioned to deliver world-class solutions to meet that demand," said Leonard Seevers, managing director at Goldman Sachs, in a statement.

The firm is wasting no time in pursuing this strategy. On October 17, Global Compute signed an agreement to acquire ATM S.A., the leading data center and communications-infrastructure business in Poland. Global Compute cited ATM's data center assets, communication infrastructure footprint, customer base and strong reputation in the market as an attractive entry point into the rapidly growing Central and Eastern European data-center market.

Peterson, who is CEO of Global Compute, has more than 18 years of data-center industry experience and 30 years in real estate investment. During his tenure at Digital Realty, he led investment activity and was responsible for $17 billion in total deal volume through M&A and organic development.

Peterson is joined by other former Digital Realty executives. Global Compute COO Christopher Kenney was also a Digital Realty co-founder. Stephen Taylor, a former senior Digital Realty executive in EMEA, will head up Global Compute in Europe.

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