On Monday, Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, the New York-headquartered private equity group that focuses mostly on traditional low-risk, hard-asset infrastructure investments in North America, announced the formation of Digital Edge, a data center platform based in the Asia-Pacific region.

Digital Edge will combine Stonepeak management with a team of senior executives formerly with Equinix, Facebook, Tata Communications and Macquarie.

Along with the Digital Edge management team, Stonepeak and its investors have committed $1 billion in equity capital to the new platform.

Based in Singapore, Digital Edge will be led by CEO Samuel Lee, who previously led Equinix’s Asia Pacific business from 2005 to 2019, along with several of his former senior colleagues at Equinix, including Kei Furuta, Andrew Rigoli and Jonathan Chou. Other members of the executive team include Jay Park, formerly of Facebook, John Freeman, formerly of Tata Communications, and Jonathan Walbridge, formerly of Macquarie.

The platform will focus on acquiring and developing carrier-neutral data centers and related digital infrastructure assets across the Asia Pacific region.

Two big deals

Concurrent with Monday’s news, Digital Edge confirmed that it has successfully closed a pair of initial investments serving domestic and international traffic in the lead cities of Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, which is to be a key market for the platform.

First, Digital Edge will partner with real estate investment firm at Keihanshin Building Co. and Kanden Energy Solution Co., Inc. to develop a 12MW facility in central Osaka.

Additionally, Digital Edge will partner strategically with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation to operate its Tokyo-based Mejirozaka Data Center.

Brian McMullen, Senior Managing Director at Stonepeak, said, “The Asia Pacific digital infrastructure market is among the fastest growing in the world, with demand continuing to outpace supply. We are delighted to partner with Samuel and his team, who bring unparalleled experience and an exceptional track record of development, and are investing in Digital Edge to help us achieve our shared vision for the region.”

Samuel Lee, CEO of Digital Edge, said, “We are very excited to partner with Stonepeak and to have completed the initial capacity acquisitions to fulfill our vision of bridging the digital divide in the Asia-Pacific region. The transactions in Tokyo and Osaka give the platform a dual footprint offering to customers in Japan’s two primary data center markets.”

Expansion

Besides its reputation as a traditional infrastructure asset manager, Stonepeak’s digital footprint has been considerable, with multiple investments in data center, fiber and and wireless assets.

Stonepeak is the majority owner of Cologix, a leading carrier-neutral data center platform in North America. It is also a majority owner of euNetworks, which owns deep fiber networks in European 17 cities and a long-haul network spanning 15 countries across the continent.

Earlier this year, Stonepeak announced the acquisition of Xplornet Communications, the leading provider of broadband connectivity in rural Canada.

Stonepeak’s presence in the Asia Pacific market has also grown over the past three years, and the firm has been active in infrastructure investments across multiple sectors during that time.

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