KENYA – Interxion, Amsterdam-based operator of 50 European data centres in 11 countries, has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling stake of Icolo, an African carrier-neutral colocation services provider, and its data centres in Kenya.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Icolo currently operates two Kenyan data centres, and recently purchased 25,000 square miles of land to support expansion throughout Mombasa and Nairobi. This expansion will provide Icolo with an additional 20MW capacity to better serve growing demand from enterprise customers.

When the acquisition is complete, Interxion will own 70 percent of Icolo, with the remaining 30 percent divided between Icolo management and PRIF.

Interxion CEO David Ruberg remarked on the convergence of PRIF’s deep understanding of the African communications industry with Interxion’s expertise in cloud-neutral data centre management.

He said, of the company’s plans for Africa, “Our ambitions in this region are substantial, reflecting the opportunity for the cloud and content platforms to bring several hundreds of millions of people online in Africa over the next decade.”

Digital Realty previously announced it would acquire Interxion for US$8.4bn, the largest transaction in the history of the data centre industry. The all-stock deal is expected to close in 2020, subject to shareholder approval.

Interxion and Icolo have cloud-neutral data center operations in common, as well as submarine cable connection expertise.

Interxion owns and operates a number of submarine cables linking Europe to Africa, as well as to the Middle East and Asia. Icolo’s recent expansion into Mombasa puts the company in a unique position to provide colocation services to the submarine cable companies landing in Kenya.

Recently, PRIF also supplied ‘substantial investment’ in SolarSaver, the largest self-financed solar solutions company in southern Africa.

This may provide an additional point of convergence in the Interxion / Icolo deal, as Interxion has claimed that they use 100 percent renewable energy in its current facilities.

At the same time, Interxion announced a strategic partnership with the Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF). Interxion and PRIF will collaborate and co-invest in Interxion’s African expansion initiatives.