GI Partners, a private equity firm investing out of its Data Infrastructure Fund, today announced the acquisition of a controlling interest in LightEdge Solutions, a data center provider focusing on retail colocation and managed services, from the Anschutz Investment Company, the venture capital investment arm of the Anschutz Corporation. Prior to GI Partners’ acquisition, the Anschutz Investment Company had been the majority owner of LightEdge since 2008.
LightEdge – Data Centers
LightEdge is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa and operates seven data centers, with 30+ megawatts of power capacity, primarily in the Midwest region and Texas. Specifically, these facilities are located in Des Moines, Iowa; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Des Moines, Iowa
LightEdge operates two data centers in the city of Altoona, part of the Des Moines metropolitan area. Particularly, these facilities are adjacent, on the same campus, at 1401 Northridge Circle and 1435 Northridge Circle.
Together, these data centers comprise 4.5 megawatts of on-site power generation capability across 103k sqft of space. Also, the campus has the potential for an additional 20k sqft of space that can be built on the property.
Kansas City, Missouri
LightEdge operates one underground data center in the SubTropolis Technology Center. Specifically, this facility is located just outside of the metro area of Kansas City, at 9050 NE Underground Drive.
Presently, LightEdge’s Kansas City data center comprises 45.0k sqft, with an option to expand into additional contiguous space. In terms of power, the Kansas City facility offers up to 2.4 megawatts of power capacity.
LightEdge operates one data center in the city of Papillion, part of the Omaha metropolitan area. Particularly, this facility is located southwest of Omaha’s city center, at 1148 American Parkway.
Overall, LightEdge’s Omaha data center comprises 1.5 megawatts of power capacity across 16.4k sqft. Ultimately, the company intends to increase its Omaha data center to 3.0 megawatts of power capacity and 30.0k sqft.
Finally, the company notes that Omaha is a focal point, in the United States, for long-haul (inter-city) fiber routes.
LightEdge operates two data centers in the south part of Austin, which are situated ~1.5 miles apart. Specifically, these facilities are located close to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 2916 Montopolis Drive and 7000-B Burleson Road.
Together, these data centers comprise 21 megawatts of power capacity across 80k+ sqft of space.
Raleigh, North Carolina
LightEdge operates one data center in the northwest part of Raleigh. Particularly, this facility is located close to Raleigh-Durham International Airport at 8020 Arco Corporate Drive.
Overall, LightEdge’s Raleigh data center comprises 12.0k sqft.
LightEdge – Background to GI Partners’ Acquisition Target
LightEdge mainly serves enterprise customers and, in particular, helps these companies with their hybrid cloud deployments. Hybrid cloud deployments leverage a combination of different environments including on-premise, private cloud, and public cloud.
LightEdge is led by Jim Masterson (Chief Executive Officer), Jeff Springborn (President & Chief Operating Officer), and Steve DenHerder (Chief Financial Officer).
Size and Growth
LightEdge’s most recently reported financials show the company generated $44.6m of annual revenue and had 155 employees. Importantly, GI Partners’ investment from its Data Infrastructure Fund will support the growth of LightEdge from its current position.
In July 2018, LightEdge closed the acquisition of two data centers in Austin, Texas from OnRamp Access for a purchase price of $106m. At the time, Anschutz Investment Company committed to provide LightEdge with $62m to finance the acquisition. Following completion of the deal, a dispute arose between LightEdge and OnRamp Access’ sellers alleging contractual breaches and fraud.
Transaction Advisors – GI Partners and LightEdge Solutions
GI Partners’ legal advisor was Paul Hastings.
LightEdge Solutions and the Anschutz Corporation’s financial advisor was Bank Street Group. Additionally, LightEdge Solutions and the Anschutz Corporation’s legal advisor was Hogan Lovells.
GI Partners – Data Infrastructure Fund
GI Partners is a San Francisco-based private equity firm, which has raised over $29bn in capital. Particularly, the firm’s three primary strategies include private equity, real estate, and data infrastructure.
GI Partners’ Data Infrastructure Fund has $1.8bn in equity capital commitments. The Data Infrastructure Fund invests primarily in hard asset digital infrastructure businesses. Beyond LightEdge and its data centers, the GI Partners Data Infrastructure Fund has made the following investments:
- DR Fortress: data center operator in Hawaii
- Blue Stream: fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) operator in South Florida
- Vast Broadband: broadband provider in the overall Great Plains region
- ORBCOMM: industrial Internet of Things (IoT) provider