AXA IM Alts said it has divested of a data centre property in Milan, Italy, to Hayfin Capital Management LLP’s subscribed fund Lamber.
Hayfin, who has invested more than €24 billion (US$28.54 billion) of capital across more than 375 portfolio companies to date and is a real estate fund managed by Milan-based privately held Kryalos SGR, launched the closed-end alternative investment Lamber fund last July.
The Milan property is currently entirely leased to Vodafone and comprises of two buildings with a total area of 254,000 sq ft. Data centre flooring counts with 2.2 MW of IT load and takes up about one fourth of the space with only the ground floor being used as hosting facilities and the rest of the building used as office space.
Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, but according to React News, the transaction reached €20 million ($23.78 million).
Paolo Bottelli, CEO of Kryalos, said: “The development of the digital economy and big data processing technologies, cloud computing, is fuelling demand for data centres, a niche for which strong growth is expected.
“The massive amount of data to be stored, processed and transmitted, requires servers, equipment and consequently buildings that can host them.
“This is a unique investment opportunity for investors looking for an asset class with solid fundamentals and attractive returns, especially in major locations like this one. The city of Milan is showing a radial development, opening investor interest to new areas.”
JLL has served as a deal advisor to Hayfin, whilst CBRE assisted Axa in the transaction.
Luca Vaj, head of office for capital markets at JLL, said: “The acquisition confirms the attention of international investors towards data centres, in particular in urban locations that guarantee the maintenance of capital values in the long term.”
Luca Bernardis, director and head of office for investment properties for CBRE Italy, added: “The transaction saw an institutional entity as the counterpart, confirming the constant interest in the Milanese real estate market. The asset, located in a rapidly expanding location and the subject of important redevelopment projects, is characterised by the presence of a strong covenant and a good WALB “.
Axa manages a growing data centre investment portfolio, especially in Europe. One of its largest bets in this hard asset market has been Data4, which Axa acquired from DigitalBridge in 2018 and has since deployed capital to help expand the business’ footprint.