AtlasEdge Data Centres, a European edge data center provider which is a 50%/50% joint venture between Liberty Global and DigitalBridge’s private equity fund Digital Colony Partners II, today announced a minority equity investment from Digital Realty, a partnership with Zayo Group, and the appointment of Giuliano Di Vitantonio as Chief Executive Officer of AtlasEdge.
Digital Realty – Minority Equity Investment in AtlasEdge
Digital Realty will make a minority equity investment into AtlasEdge Data Centres and use the company as its European edge provider. In turn, Digital Realty will be able to extend its European presence by offering AtlasEdge’s locations in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, and Poland to its customers.
Presently, Digital Realty operates 106 data centers in 15 metros throughout Europe. While Digital Realty already operates in the UK, Ireland, and Switzerland, its presence is solely in each country’s largest cities (e.g., London, Dublin, and Zurich). Therefore, AtlasEdge’s 100+ edge facilities provide Digital Realty with a regional presence, which is closer to consumer and enterprise end users. Additionally, Digital Realty does not currently operate in Poland and thus will extend its geographic reach through AtlasEdge.
Digital Realty notes that AtlasEdge’s highly-distributed and last-mile edge facilities complement its capability to provide data center solutions at-scale for its customers. For example, Digital Realty is pursuing the growth of interconnection services, particularly as they move towards the edge.
Finally, Digital Realty’s minority equity investment into AtlasEdge Data Centres (AE Group Sàrl) is expected to close by year-end 2021.
Zayo Group – Partnership
Zayo Group is partnering with AtlasEdge Data Centres to connect its carrier-neutral dark fiber and enterprise fiber to AtlasEdge’s technical facilities. In turn, Zayo and AtlasEdge intend to better meet customer requirements and the “evolution of the cloud”.
Presently, Zayo operates fiber networks in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Therefore, AtlasEdge will be able to connect its 100+ edge facilities to Zayo’s metro and long-haul network sections in the UK, Ireland, and Switzerland, but not Poland.
Leadership of AtlasEdge Data Centres – Digital Realty / Interxion Alumni
Giuliano Di Vitantonio will join AtlasEdge as its Chief Executive Officer in January 2022 from Digital Realty. He has served as Digital Realty’s EVP, Strategy & Business Segments, joining through the company’s acquisition of Interxion in 2020. Previously, at Interxion, Di Vitantonio was the company’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer. Finally, his prior roles include positions at Hewlett-Packard and Cisco Systems.
In addition to Giuliano Di Vitantonio, AtlasEdge Data Centres’ Executive Chairman, Josh Joshi, was also previously part of Interxion. Joshi was formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Interxion up until his resignation in October 2017.
AtlasEdge Data Centres – Overview
AtlasEdge Data Centres has a footprint of 100+ edge sites in the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, and Poland. Through these facilities, the company delivers localized, high-capacity, and low-latency digital infrastructure to customers.
AtlasEdge is an aggregation of Liberty Global’s hub sites or central offices in regional European towns. These buildings connect into thousands of homes and businesses and will initially be anchored by a Liberty Global tenant, such as Virgin Media O2 (see below).
However, as edge computing grows, AtlasEdge’s desire is to generate incremental revenue. This could be from technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, as well as enterprises including HSBC and Ford. Indeed, these potential AtlasEdge customers desire proximity to their end users as services such as smart home technology proliferate.
Overall, Liberty Global and DigitalBridge’s AtlasEdge will operate independently. As such, AtlasEdge will support the edge requirements of carriers, networks, cloud/hyperscale data centers (Digital Realty), and content platforms.
Liberty Global contributed its digital infrastructure assets and will provide strategic & operational support to AtlasEdge. In exchange, Liberty Global unlocks the “hidden value” in its property assets. This is because DigitalBridge purchased an interest in the AtlasEdge assets “at levels consistent with European digital infrastructure valuations” for a “couple of hundred million of cash”.
Liberty Global’s operating companies, in four European countries, will be the anchor tenants for AtlasEdge’s data centers. Specifically, these companies include Virgin Media O2 (UK), Virgin Media (Ireland), Sunrise-UPC (Switzerland), and UPC (Poland).
AtlasEdge is leveraging each carrier’s technical real estate and connectivity services to deliver edge-based infrastructure in highly-connected locations.