Major undersea cable operator raises R3.2 billion — will fund data centre in Durban
WIOCC Holding Company Limited has completed a $200 million debt and equity capital raise which will be used to expand its connectivity within Africa and internationally.
Through Open Access Data Centres (OADC), a newly created WIOCC Group company, it plans to launch a network of pan-African data centres serving the needs of the cloud provider and wholesale community.
Strategic investments in the new Equiano and 2Africa international subsea systems will augment and complement WIOCC’s existing core network infrastructure.
WIOCC said the investments in the Google- and Meta-backed cable systems will add multiple Terabits per second of capacity cost-effectively, and significantly increase its options for delivering high-availability solutions demanded in markets across Africa.
WIOCC’s terrestrial strategy, which includes deployment of metro and national networks in key locations, will be extended to include new countries and metropolitan areas, increasing its portfolio of end-to-end solutions for clients across Africa.
Part of the capital raise will be used in funding OADC.
First-phase locations will house key submarine cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu, supporting the drive to land international submarine capacity directly into carrier-neutral data centres.
Construction and fit-out is underway in Lagos and Durban, with both to be launched early in 2022.
The Mogadishu data centre will be ready before the end of 2022, WIOCC stated.
Further phases of deployment will deliver more than twenty new data centres in strategic locations throughout the continent, focusing on major connectivity hubs in each country.
WIOCC raised the equity capital from CAPE IV, a fund managed by leading Africa focused private equity fund manager, African Capital Alliance (ACA).
WIOCC’s debt facility was provided by the International Finance Corporation, Proparco, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund managed by Ninety One (formerly Investec Asset Management). Verdant Capital acted as financial advisor to WIOCC for the equity capital raise.
“We are excited to conclude this stage of our capital raise, which will enable a very significant expansion of our hyperscale infrastructure through investment in new high-capacity subsea systems and terrestrial network,” said WIOCC CEO Chris Wood.
“The inward investment and partnership with ACA will help us in enabling businesses and consumers in Africa to benefit from the digital economy and migration to cloud-based services.”
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