Saudi Fransi Capital (SFC), the investment arm of Banque Saudi Fransi, has launched the Saudi Data Center Fund I, Saudi Arabia’s first private fund initiative of its kind.
Saudi Data Center Fund I is a private, closed-end investment fund, compliant with Shariah principles and organised under the laws of the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority.
The fund has an initial target size of SAR 1.5 billion (US$400 million), more than twice the originally planned float of SAR 700 million ($186.63 million).
The initial cash will be utilised to build, own, and operate six data centres across two availability zones with a combined initial capacity of 24 megawatts (MW).
Saudi Fransi Capital is collaborating with Al Moammar Information Systems (MIS). MIS has been appointed as the design-builder for the design and construction phase as well as having ongoing responsibilities for facilities management.
Salam AlKhunaizi, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Fransi Capital, said: “This is a historic moment for our partner, MIS, and us as we jointly embark on providing a platform to support the growth of digital information infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, in line with the strategy outlined by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
“We are working toward achieving the digital transformation goals under the National Transformation Program of Vision 2030.
“This is consistent with Saudi Fransi Capital’s ongoing mission to deliver attractive and innovative investment opportunities to all of its investors while gainfully contributing to the Kingdom’s overall goals of financial sector development and economic transformation.”
Intentions to set up the fund were first announced in June 2021, after MIS and Saudi Fransi Capital signed a binding MoU to establish a private investment fund aimed at data centres.
The two parties said then the venture has a potential size of up to SAR 3.5 billion ($930 million), delivering on potentially 90MW of data centre IT load.
Saudi Arabia has this year announced plans to invest nearly $20 billion in building hyperscale data centre and renewable energy projects.
The government is eyeing an investment – financed by private investors – that could deliver on more than 1.3 GW of capacity by 2030.