Dutch NorthC Enters German Market, Acquires IPX’s Colocation Business

For about €44 million, q.beyond has sold its IP Exchange GmbH (IPX) colocation business to NorthC Group – the largest provider of regional colocation services in the Netherlands. The acquisition allows NorthC to enter the German market. The transaction includes two data centers, in Nuremberg and Munich, with a total colocation space of 14,000 m2.

Photo Alexandra Schless, CEO of NorthC Group
“This acquisition enables NorthC to build on IPX’s managed services platform,” said Alexandra Schless, CEO of NorthC Group.

In June this year, German managed service provider q.beyond AG, a large company that was formerly known as QSC now counting 1,000 employees, announced that it planned to sell its colocation business operated through its subsidiary IP Exchange GmbH. Colocation has not formed part of q.beyond’s strategic focus for some time now, as colocation is an investment-intensive business. This is why since spring 2021, q.beyond has been gathering and analyzing numerous possibilities for its colocation business.

“This sale represents the ideal solution for all involved,” said Jürgen Hermann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of q.beyond. “q.beyond can now focus entirely on its core business of Cloud, SAP and IoT while, together with NorthC Group, the team at IP Exchange can make optimal use of its strengths in the colocation market. This successful sale will enable us to reduce complexity, widen our scope for action and hone our positioning.”

The data centers at q.beyond’s Hamburg location, where q.beyond pools its business with managed services while providing private cloud solutions to its SME customers, are not included in the deal and will remain part of the company’s core business.

Annual Revenues: €20M

Backed by German asset management giant DWS Group, NorthC operates 10 regional colocation data centers in the Netherlands. This acquisition will allow NorthC Group to expand its operations into the German market and expand its platform of regional data centers outside the Netherlands for the first time.

IPX’s colocation business generated annual revenues of around € 20 million to date. The acquisition would provide NorthC Group with a solid foundation on which to build a leading German regional network of data centers, comparable to the company’s Dutch network of regional data centers.

IPX’s data centers are interconnected through a redundantly deployed network backbone. Located in southern Bavaria, IPX offers colocation, connectivity, and managed services to a wide range of clients across the region.

The acquired data center business will be operated under NorthC’s new German entity, NorthC Group Deutschland GmbH.

IPX’s Managed Services Platform

“The acquisition of IPX is a major milestone in NorthC Group’s expansion strategy,” said Alexandra Schless, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NorthC Group. “We are pleased to welcome the IPX team to our organization. We believe that a platform of regional data centers with broad geographic reach allows our customers to optimize their redundant infrastructure and take advantage of regional ecosystems. This acquisition also enables NorthC to build on IPX’s managed services platform. Further synergy between the two companies will benefit both the combined company and our customers.”

Completion of this acquisition is subject to customary conditions. ING served as the transaction’s M&A advisor for NorthC Group, while Hogan Lovells served as the legal advisor.