Xenith IG, a dark fiber provider in Asia-Pacific, was recently formed out of DigitalBridge and Columbia Capital’s ~$100m USD (A$140m) acquisition of Superloop’s fiber assets and operations in Hong Kong and Singapore. That transaction closed at the end of April 2022 and the assets and operations were re-branded as Xenith IG.
Xenith IG – DigitalBridge and Columbia Capital
Xenith IG owns and manages fiber infrastructure, which connects data centers, cable landing stations, and enterprise buildings throughout two of the largest hubs in Asia-Pacific:
- Hong Kong: 124 miles (200 kilometers) of fiber networks, connecting 50+ on-net buildings
- Singapore: 112 miles (180 kilometers) of fiber networks, connecting 60+ on-net buildings
Xenith IG’s network routes serve hyperscalers – including cloud service providers (CSPs) and over-the-top (OTT) media services, data centers, carriers, and enterprise clients. Below are fiber network maps from when Superloop owned the fiber assets, displaying the different on-net buildings of Xenith IG’s network:
In Hong Kong, Xenith IG’s fiber network connects to Equinix’s HK1, HK2, HK3, and HK5 facilities; Digital Realty’s data center in Tseung Kwan O; Global Switch’s facility in Tseung Kwan O; and various sites of NTT Global Data Centers.
In Singapore, Xenith IG’s fiber network connects to Equinix’s SG1, SG2, SG3, and SG4 facilities; Digital Realty’s data center in the Jurong East area; Global Switch’s facility in Tai Seng; and Keppel DC REIT’s Singapore 1 site at 25 Serangoon North Avenue 5.
Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU)
As part of the transaction with DigitalBridge and Columbia Capital, Superloop holds a 15-year indefeasible right of use (IRU) on Xenith IG’s Singapore and Hong Kong networks. In turn, Superloop will be able to maintain its operations in Singapore and Hong Kong on an infrastructure-light basis.
Xenith IG is led by Bill Cook as Executive Chairman. Presently, Cook is a Venture Partner at Columbia Capital and serves on the Board of Directors of two of Columbia Capital’s portfolio companies, namely Bandwidth IG and Vivacity Networks:
- Executive Chairman of Bandwidth Infrastructure Group (Bandwidth IG), a metro dark fiber provider for data centers, hyperscalers, and enterprises throughout Northern California, and Greater Atlanta
- Board member of Vivacity Networks, a smart city infrastructure provider, which is creating a portfolio of fiber-connected street furniture, primarily through streetlights
Previously, in 2012, Cook founded Summit Infrastructure Group (SummitIG), a dark fiber infrastructure provider in Northern Virginia, serving as the company’s CEO until 2019.
Ownership and Financing
DigitalBridge owns its stake in Xenith IG through its flagship private equity fund, DigitalBridge Partners II (DBP II), while Columbia Capital holds its share through its funds. Additionally, J.P. Morgan holds a charge on Xenith IG’s Singapore entity, meaning that it has provided secured debt to the company.
Digital Infrastructure in Asia-Pacific
While DigitalBridge has been able to deploy several hundred million dollars of equity into towers and data centers in Asia-Pacific, the firm’s investments in fiber, in the Asia-Pacific region, are subscale – even after including its share of the Xenith IG investment. To this end, Ben Jenkins, President and Chief Investment Officer of DigitalBridge, noted the following at the firm’s Investor Day, regarding investments in dark and enterprise fiber in Asia-Pacific:
“I think that’s somewhat more challenging given the market structures there. There tend to be significant national companies, many of them already very well-established. And so, creating or acquiring challengers to that is difficult. But there may be select markets where there’s opportunity. And more than likely, that would be in building new routes because, again, as you say, the sort of requirements in those markets are growing exponentially”.
DigitalBridge – Investments in Asia-Pacific
Beyond Xenith IG, DigitalBridge has invested in the Asia-Pacific markets of Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Australia. Particularly, these investments have been made in the digital infrastructure sub-sectors of towers, via EdgePoint Infrastructure, and data centers, through Vantage Data Centers (APAC).
EdgePoint Infrastructure has secured over 10k sites across Indonesia and Malaysia, Moreover, the company will bring its total portfolio in Southeast Asia to over 13k tower and distributed antenna system (DAS) sites following completion of its acquisition of 2.9k towers in the Philippines, for ~$666m USD, from PLDT.
Vantage Data Centers (APAC)
Vantage Data Centers (APAC) operates or is developing capacity across 5 markets in Asia-Pacific:
- Osaka, Japan: developing 2 hyperscale data centers in the city of Ibaraki, in Osaka Prefecture, Japan, which will be known as KIX1. At full build-out, Vantage’s Osaka campus will offer 40 megawatts of critical IT load across 485k sqft (45k sqm) of space
- Tokyo, Japan: developing 3 hyperscale data centers in the city of Sagamihara, in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, which will be known as HND1. At full build-out, Vantage’s Tokyo campus will offer 80 megawatts of critical IT load across 300k sqft (28k sqm) of space
- Hong Kong: several campus locations, together comprising 65+ megawatts of power capacity, across 1.2 million sqft of gross floor area. Specifically, Vantage’s Hong Kong campuses include On Lok (HKG1), Fo Tan (HKG2), Kwai Chung (HKG3), and Tsuen Wan West (HKG5)
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: multi-story, two-data center campus located in Cyberjaya and known as KUL1. At full build-out, Vantage’s Cyberjaya campus will offer 9 megawatts of critical IT load across 213k sqft (20k sqm) of space
- Melbourne, Australia: developing 3 hyperscale data centers in Melbourne, Australia, which will be known as MEL1. At full build-out, Vantage’s Melbourne campus will offer 48 megawatts of critical IT load across 270k sqft (25k sqm) of space
Columbia Capital – Investments in Asia-Pacific
For Columbia Capital, Xenith IG appears to mark the firm’s first digital infrastructure investment in the Asia-Pacific region. To-date, Columbia Capital’s focus has been on investing in the United States and Western Europe, through its digital infrastructure portfolio companies: Bandwidth IG, Cologix, CPG, Deep Edge Technologies, euNetworks, eX² Technology, Landways, SummitIG, Teraco, TerraPact, Vivacity Networks, and Wyyerd Fiber.