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AirTrunk’s financing rolled into $1.55bn data centre sustainability loan

Loan comes as company continues its expansion across Asia-Pacific and a roughly a year after a consortuium of leading investors acquired a major stake in the business.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

3 Mins

September 13, 2021 | 2:43 PM BST

AirTrunk’s financing rolled into $1.55bn data centre sustainability loan

AirTrunk Founder and CEO, Robin Khuda. Source: AirTrunk

Hyperscale data centre business AirTrunk has converted its existing corporate loan facility of more than A$2.1 billion (US$1.55 billion) into a Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL).

The operator claims that the SLL has set new industry benchmarks in sustainable financing, being the largest by a data centre operator globally, the first by a data centre operator in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), and the first to utilise ‘Operating Power Usage Effectiveness’ (PUE) as a Sustainability Key Performance Indicator (KPI).

A SLL links a company’s financing to Sustainability KPIs, driving borrowers to improve their sustainability commitments and performance.

By converting its financing structure to a SLL, the existing loan as well as future increment loans and investment made by AirTrunk will be sustainability linked.

“This will ensure a long-lasting positive impact on the environment and community as the company embarks on further expansion of its hyperscale data centre platform in the region,” the company said in a statement.

AirTrunk has established its loan KPIs across three key areas – diversity and inclusion, carbon neutrality, and energy efficiency. These KPIs will be independently assured.

AirTrunk has made the decision to measure its energy efficiency KPI through an ‘Operating PUE’, holding the company accountable to deliver towards its PUE.

AirTrunk Founder and CEO, Robin Khuda said, “Sustainability has been at the core of AirTrunk’s business purpose from day one as we pioneered hyperscale data centres in the region with industry-leading scale and energy efficiency. By transitioning to this SLL with three ambitious KPIs including one for Operating PUE, we are holding ourselves to account to achieve our sustainability objectives.

“We are focusing on delivering responsible digital growth in the region, an important priority not just for AirTrunk but also our key stakeholders including our customers, employees, investors, government, and the broader community.”

The joint Sustainability Structuring Advisors for AirTrunk’s SLL were Credit Agricole CIB and Deutsche Bank. Norton Rose Fulbright and Gilbert + Tobin acted as the borrower’s and lender’s legal counsel respectively.

AirTrunk’s portfolio includes properties in Sydney and Melbourne (Australia), Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo (Japan).

The company its Japan headquarters at the end of August as it gears up to build a 300MW data centre campus in the capital region.

In 2020, a consortium led by Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund 2 (MAIF2) and including Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), acquired a major stake in the business, investing alongside AirTrunk’s chief executive Khuda.

MAIF2 is managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, one of the world’s leading alternative asset managers and part of the ASX-listed Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG). 

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João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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