Nigeria’s MainOne Acquired By Equinix In A $320M Deal!


Nigeria's MainOne
Image Credit: MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke

Equinix in its latest publication made clear that the company is acquiring Nigeria’s MainOne known as a West African data center and connectivity solutions provider which currently has its presence in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana for $320 million.

An acquisition process which is expected to close Q1 of 2022, yet subject to the “satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals”.  

In the same vein, the global digital infrastructure player – Equinix’s latest development follows its last year’s expansion to India through the acquisition of GPX India for $161 million in addition to the acquisition of 13 data centers from Bell Canada for $780 million.

Responding to this development, Equinix which acquired MainOne acknowledged the company’s latest move in this trajectory as its long-term strategy in order to become an African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company. As such, the company made clear in a statement:

“With more than 200 million people, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and, along with Ghana, has become an established data center hub. This makes the acquisition a pivotal entry point for Equinix into the continent”.

In 2010 ‘Funke Opeke’ began MainOne after her findings over the poor state of internet connectivity Nigerians had to cope with, which was actually figured out upon her return to Nigeria from the United States.

Having secured over $200 million in equity and debt investment, and been poised with her findings, built MainOne believed to be West Africa’s first privately owned, open access undersea high capacity cable submarine. A 7,000-kilometer cable stretching from Portugal to West Africa with landings along Accra in Ghana, Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, Lagos in Nigeria, and Dakar in Senegal.

Further on this, the subject company equally has 1,200 kilometers of terrestrial fiber network across southern regions of Nigeria, notably in Nigeria, Ogun, and Edo States. However, connectivity to terrestrial sites extends across 65 points of presence (PoPs) in subject cities across Portugal, Ghana, Nigeria, and Ivory Coast.

In the meantime, MainOne’s services are known to be used by over 800 business-to-business customers, which cut across major international technology enterprises, global telecommunication operators, social media companies, financial service companies coupled with cloud service providers. Having enabled connectivity for the aforementioned businesses via three operational data centers, consequently, Nigeria’s MainOne also plans to open an additional facility in Q1 2022 as part of the company’s objective which also coincides with Equinix’s acquisition.

MainOne is known to have a 500-person team, with facilities that generate approximately $60 million per annum in revenue with a purchase multiple of approximately 14x EBITDA, which upon closing, would see its facilities add over 64,000 gross square feet of space to Equinix, in addition to 570,000 square feet of land mapped out for future expansion.

Looking at Equinix from a global point of view, it’s understood the company currently has 237 data centers across 27 countries. Additionally, the company also provides data center and interconnection services for over 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, which also include more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.

“The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing Africa market. MainOne’s leading interconnection position and experienced management team represent critical assets in our aspirations to be the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure in Africa”, the president and CEO of Equinix ‘Charles Meyers’ said in a statement.

“MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem, and operating capacity will extend the reach of Platform Equinix and bolster opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world”.

Consequently, to ensure the company continues in its delivery, MainOne CEO ‘Funke Opeke’ and the company’s management team will continue to serve in their respective roles even after the deal is finalized. Yet, a deal that is viewed as one that will accelerate MainOne’s long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across the continent of Africa.

“With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built in twelve years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey. The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together”, Opeke added.

  • What do you make of this?