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KKR Launches GTR for European Data Center Acquisitions

KKR and entrepreneur Franek Sodzawiczny (pictured above) have launched Global Technical Realty (GTR), to pursue European data center acquisitions and build-outs, the companies say.

KKR, a private equity firm, has committed an initial $1 billion to the effort. Sodzawiczny previously was founder and CEO of Zenium Data Centers, which CyrusOne acquired for $442 million — or roughly 18 times annual EBITDA — in August 2018.

Explaining GTR’s launch and business strategy, KKR said the private equity firm will:

“make a $1 billion equity capital commitment primarily from its third global infrastructure fund, which may be supplemented with additional commitments over time, to develop and build data centers for large technology companies through GTR across Europe over the coming years. Alongside debt financing, KKR’s equity commitment is expected to support more than $2.5 billion of asset development and investment.”

GTR’s launch team includes:

  • Martin Carroll, formerly lead director, EMEA Data Center Advisory at JLL;
  • Mark Trevor, formerly partner and head of EMEA data center transaction and advisory at Cushman & Wakefield; and
  • Tom Sodzawiczny, formerly associate director of capital markets at Colliers International.

Also, GTR has partnered with Mercury Engineering, a European engineering contractor, to design and develop a data center platform for hyperscale cloud service providers.

GTR European Data Center Business Strategy: Executive Perspectives

Waldemar Szlezak, KKR

In a prepared statement about GTR’s launch, Waldemar Szlezak, managing director of KKR said:

“The data center market in Europe presents a unique opportunity to invest behind the secular trend of increased cloud services adoption and demand for data.

Andrew Peisch, director of KKR, added:

“The 25 years of industry experience that Franek brings to the table, alongside the rest of the management team, is impressive and exactly the kind of know-how we sought out to invest in the sector.”

GTR CEO and founder Franek Sodzawiczny concluded:

“We are thrilled to have found an investor like KKR that shares our vision for the future of the data center market. KKR’s breadth of resources and tremendous expertise will allow GTR to fully participate in this growing market and provide a solid foundation for GTR’s future growth and success.”

European Data Centers: Market Snapshot

The European data center market has seen extensive M&A activity, but new build-outs also continue as cloud providers seek to comply with such regulations as GDPR, according to Research and Markets.

That report also notes:

  • The UK market witnessed over 20 data center projects that were opened or under construction in 2019 .
  • Equinix, CyrusOne, Microsoft, Digital Realty, and Interxion are carrying out out greenfield development in France.
  •  In Germany, NDC Data centre, Interxion, Digital Realty, Equinix, Global Switch, CyrusOne, NTT (e-Shelter), Etix Everywhere, and Colt DCS are the major investors invested in multiple facilities.
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