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Transactions - FEBRUARY 11, 2019

Legal & General Capital partners with Goldacre for U.K. center deal

by Andrea Zander

Legal & General Capital has invested in The Kao Data Campus, a state-of-the-art £230 million ($297 million) data center development servicing the London to Cambridge corridor.

Kao was named in honor of Nobel Prize winning physicist Sir Charles Kao, who pioneered the use of fiber optics at the site of Kao’s first data campus development.

“With a focus on creating thriving cities, Legal & General looks to make investments that are focused on creating sustainable communities with good employment opportunities, high-quality and varied housing in a digitally-connected and clean environment,” said Kerrigan Procter, CEO of Legal & General Capital. “We believe that data centers are an integral part of a city’s digital transformation, enabling connections to a broader digital infrastructure and offering synergies across our wider Future Cities investment strategy. Following the Bruntwood SciTech partnership in 2018, the largest investment made in science and technology property assets in Europe last year, Legal & General is pleased to have invested in another real-world asset that can bring value now and in the future.”

In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in data creation and cloud computing, leading to a shift in storage from in-house data center infrastructure to third-party providers.  Focused on driving the necessary technology and infrastructure developments to meet this rising demand, Legal & General has partnered with existing investors in Kao, Goldacre Noé Group (Goldacre).

Goldacre is the technology investment arm of Noé Group’s international asset management and investment business. This investment demonstrates a commitment from Legal & General to deliver the digital infrastructure required for Future Cities and marks the first step of an ambitious partnership with Goldacre to drive the strategic expansion and accelerated growth of the U.K. data industry.

From its first 35.2-megawatt data campus in the London to Cambridge corridor, Kao serves hyperscalers and enterprise customers across the largest data center market and technology cluster in Europe. Kao’s business model leverages best-in-class design to achieve market leading efficiency, strong resilience and excellent connectivity, whilst also retaining flexibility for customer specification requirements. Kao’s location will provide a hub for connectivity routes from Dublin to Amsterdam. This substantial investment from Legal & General will allow Kao to capitalize on emerging opportunities both in terms of industry and geography.

“As technology continues to evolve and our future cities become more connected, we see data centers as critical infrastructure of national importance,” said Matteo Colombo, director of strategic private capital investments at Legal & General Capital. “At a time of increased sensitivity around data sovereignty, the United Kingdom lacks its own flagged data center platform. We see a market gap, and Kao presents a unique opportunity to build and create a leading U.K. proposition,” added

David Bloom, founder of Goldacre. “This significant partnership is a landmark moment, both for the continued growth of Kao Data and for the development of the wider U.K. data center industry. With this substantial injection of capital, Kao Data is uniquely well-placed to strengthen its position as an innovative, performance-led business. An ever-increasing digital footprint is the basis of our entire digital economy, and we are proud to provide the platform that makes this possible. Given the importance of our national data industry, we look forward to working with Legal & General to create further opportunities to accelerate the emergence of state-of-the-art infrastructure nationwide.”

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