Green Mountain AS, a carrier-neutral data center operator in Norway, today announced that it will be 100% acquired by Azrieli Group, an Israeli real estate company, for $850m USD (7.6bn Norwegian Kroner). Notably, Azrieli Group is purchasing Green Mountain from Smedvig AS, a family office based in Norway.
For the twelve months ended June 30, 2021, Green Mountain generated $25.8m USD of net operating income (NOI). In turn, this implies that the company was valued at a 3.0% cap rate on its in-place NOI. However, given Green Mountain’s extensive development pipeline and resulting ramp-up in NOI, the more relevant metric is forward-looking.
Based on Green Mountain’s forecast of $53.4m USD of net operating income (NOI) for full-year 2022, Azrieli Group is valuing the company at a 6.3% cap rate on full-year 2022 NOI. Still, Azrieli Group likely needs to fund Green Mountain’s capital expenditures (not disclosed) in order to attain this NOI in 2022 and thus the implied cap rate will likely be lower.
Green Mountain – Overview
Green Mountain was formed in December 2009 with investment from the Smedvig family office. The company develops and operates data centers serving both enterprise and wholesale customers. Currently, Green Mountain has three operating data centers in Norway, which offer 24 megawatts of power capacity:
DC1-Stavanger comprises ~12.5 megawatts of in-place power capacity. Additionally, the campus can expand to 52 megawatts of power capacity across 243k sqft (22.6k sqm) of total space.
DC2-Telemark comprises 7.5 megawatts of in-place power capacity. Also, the campus can expand to 40 megawatts of power capacity across 484k sqft (45.0k sqm) of total space.
DC3-Oslo comprises 4.0 megawatts of in-place power capacity. Additionally, the campus can expand to 75 megawatts of power capacity across 807k sqft (75.0k sqm) of total space.
Importantly, Green Mountain’s data centers operate on 100% low-cost renewable power, using free cooling processes.
Green Mountain has future construction and development potential at these and additional sites of ~520 megawatts of power capacity. To this end, the company notes that the Nordic data center market will grow from 179 megawatts currently, to 895 megawatts of power capacity by 2025.
Near-term, Green Mountain forecasts that its power capacity will reach 49 megawatts by year-end 2022. These projects include Green Mountain’s DC4 facility near Stavanger and a DC5 data center ~60 miles (100 kilometers) further North. Indeed, with the backing of Azrieli Group, Green Mountain will continue to fund this robust development pipeline.
Green Mountain – Strategy and Positioning
Presently, Green Mountain has signed customer contracts for 24 megawatts of power capacity for an average period of ~7.5 years. The company’s existing customers include banks, energy providers, cloud service providers, IT service providers, government agencies, and large enterprises. Overall, Green Mountain’s largest customers are from the banking & finance sectors and cloud service providers.
Green Mountain’s data centers are carrier-neutral and provide access to domestic and international network operators. The company’s facilities have redundant fiber paths into their sites from multiple different carriers.
Additionally, Green Mountain manages its own fiber both in-and-out of Norway.
In Norway, Green Mountain primarily competes with DigiPlex, Bulk Infrastructure, GlobalConnect (IP-Only), Verizon, Basefarm, Webhuset, Telia Company, and BlueFjords.
Azrieli Group – Overview
Azrieli Group intends to enable the future expansion of Green Mountain’s current operations in Europe. Indeed, this will help position Azrieli Group, which also owns a 20% stake in Compass Datacenters in the United States, as a more important player in the global data center sector.
Notably, in July 2019, Azrieli Group acquired its 20% stake in Compass Datacenters from Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) and Redbird Capital Partners at a ~$690m whole-company valuation.
Finally, Azrieli Group intends to finance up to 50% of the Green Mountain consideration through bank loans.
Transaction Advisors – Azrieli Group and Green Mountain
Azrieli Group’s financial advisor was Rothschild & Co. Additionally, Azrieli Group’s legal advisor was DLA Piper.
Green Mountain and Smedvig’s financial advisors, Goldman Sachs and Torch Partners, ran an auction process which ultimately concluded with a sale to Azrieli Group.