STACK Infrastructure, a hyperscale data center developer and operator, through its financial sponsor IPI Partners, a digital infrastructure private equity firm, today announced that it has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Safe Host SA, a data center owner and operator in Switzerland, from the company’s founders, management, and funds managed by StepStone Real Estate, a division of private markets investment firm StepStone Group (NASDAQ: STEP).
Upon completion of the acquisition, Safe Host will operate under the STACK Infrastructure brand and will be integrated into STACK’s existing European business, which currently includes data centers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy. In turn, STACK gains incremental scale and geographic diversity in Europe.
Safe Host – STACK Infrastructure Enters Switzerland
Safe Host was founded in 2000 and is headquartered outside of Geneva, Switzerland. The company operates four data centers in Geneva, Zurich, and Avenches, Switzerland, which are known as SH1 – Geneva, SH2 – Gland, SH3 – Avenches, and SH4 – Zurich.
Collectively, Safe Host’s four data centers comprise 56 megawatts of IT load across ~270k sqft (~25k sqm) of net technical area:
|Data Center||IT Load||sqft||sqm|
|SH1 – Geneva||~13 MW||53.8k||5.0k|
|SH2 – Gland||~30 MW||155k||14.4k|
|SH3 – Avenches||3 MW||25.7k||2.4k|
|SH4 – Zurich||10 MW||~37.7k||~3.5k|
Additionally, in Switzerland, Safe Host is constructing its SH5 data center in the municipality of Beringen, which is part of the canton of Schaffhausen. Furthermore, Safe Host possesses “additional land holdings in top European markets”, which will allow STACK Infrastructure to expand further.
Safe Host’s SH1 – Geneva and SH2 – Gland data centers offer connectivity to carriers including AT&T, CenturyLink (Lumen Technologies), China Mobile, Colt Technology Services, euNetworks, Gas&Com, IP-Max, Orange Business Services, SEIC, SIG, Sunrise, Swisscom, UPC, Verizon, and VTX.
Safe Host is led by Steve Webb as Chief Executive Officer, who was appointed to the role following the retirement of Gerard Sikias in April 2022.
In Europe, STACK Infrastructure is led by John Eland as Chief Executive Officer of STACK EMEA, who joined in April 2022 from NTT Global Data Centers. Additionally, Adam Tamburini is Chief Hyperscale Officer of STACK EMEA, joining at the same time from NTT Global Data Centers.
Transaction Advisors – IPI Partners, StepStone Real Estate
IPI Partners’ legal advisor was Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.
StepStone Real Estate’s financial advisor was RBC Capital Markets. Additionally, StepStone Real Estate’s legal advisor was Latham & Watkins.
Switzerland Data Center Market
Switzerland’s central location in Europe, political and economic stability, data protection standards, and renewable energy sources are generating demand from hyperscale and enterprise customers. Within hyperscale, the major cloud service providers (CSPs) are driving a significant need for new hyperscale facilities in Switzerland.
Cloud Service Providers (CSPs)
The following cloud service providers (CSPs) have existing deployments or are opening new capacity in either Geneva or Zurich, Switzerland:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): Europe (Zurich) cloud region will have 3 availability zones when it opens in the second-half of 2022
- Google Cloud: Zurich cloud region, known as europe-west6, has 3 availability zones
- Microsoft Azure: Switzerland North (Zürich) cloud region, known as SwitzerlandNorth, has 1 availability zone. Additionally, the Switzerland West (Geneva) cloud region, known as SwitzerlandWest, has 1 availability zone
- Oracle Cloud: Switzerland North (Zurich) cloud region, known as eu-zurich-1, has 1 availability zone
STACK Infrastructure – Overview
STACK Infrastructure’s data center portfolio comprises operational facilities and development projects throughout the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and EMEA regions:
- Americas: Atlanta, Calgary, Chicago (Elk Grove Village), Dallas-Fort Worth, New Albany (Columbus), Northern Virginia (Ashburn and Manassas), Phoenix (Goodyear), Portland (Hillsboro), Silicon Valley (San Jose), and Toronto
- Asia-Pacific: Singapore and Tokyo, Japan
- EMEA: Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Milan, Italy
Including STACK Infrastructure, IPI Partners has built a hyperscale and enterprise data center portfolio with facilities in the United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Switzerland (via Safe Host), with the ability to support over 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of IT capacity.