KKR, a global investment firm, and Franek Sodzawiczny, a data center entrepreneur and executive, have formed a new Global Technical Realty – a build-to-suit and roll-up acquisition data center company aiming at the European market.
The company’s main focus will be on the design and construction of tailored and sustainable data centers for global hyperscalers looking to develop facilities primarily in key European markets.
GTR has partnered with Mercury Engineering, a leading European engineering contractor with deep experience in data center construction, to design and develop a data center product specifically catered to the needs of hyperscale cloud service providers.
“The data center market in Europe presents a unique opportunity to invest behind the secular trend of increased cloud services adoption and demand for data,” said Waldemar Szlezak, Managing Director of KKR. Andrew Peisch, Director of KKR. “The 25 years of industry experience that Franek brings to the table, alongside the rest of the management team, is impressive and exactly the kind of know-how we sought out to invest in the sector.”
KKR, OVH Investment
KKR will make a $1 billion equity capital commitment primarily from its third global infrastructure fund, which may be supplemented with additional commitments over time, to develop and build data centers for large technology companies through GTR across Europe over the coming years.
KKR is no stranger to the data center and hosting market. In 2016, it invested heavily in one of the world’s largest (cloud) hosting providers, OVH. Together with investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners (TowerBrook), KKR acquired a minority stake in OVH for €250 million of growth capital.
Alongside debt financing, KKR’s equity commitment is expected to support more than $2.5 billion of asset development and investment, including opportunities from a highly active commercial pipeline as the demand for third-party data center provision would continue to grow.
Founder Zenium Data Centers
“We are thrilled to have found an investor like KKR that shares our vision for the future of the data center market,” said Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO and founder of GTR. “KKR’s breadth of resources and tremendous expertise will allow GTR to fully participate in this growing market and provide a solid foundation for GTR’s future growth and success.”
Franek Sodzawiczny, formerly the Founder and CEO of Zenium Data Centers and co-founder & CDO of Sentrum, would be joined by a number of “highly experienced and reputable” professionals with deep roots in the data center industry across Europe as part of the GTR management team, including Martin Carroll, formerly Lead Director, EMEA Data Center Advisory at JLL; Mark Trevor, formerly Partner and Head of EMEA Data Center Transaction and Advisory at Cushman & Wakefield and Tom Sodzawiczny, formerly Associate Director of Capital Markets at Colliers International.
KKR was advised by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Global Technical Realty was advised by Charles Russell Speechlys.