Nigeria’s MainOne to be acquired by America’s Equinix in $320 million deal

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Leading Nigerian and West African cable and data centre service provider, MainOne is set to be acquired by an American internet company, Equinix. This acquisition will signal Equinix’s entry into the African telecoms and data space.

According to a release by Equinix, the deal which has an enterprise value of $320 million is expected to be sealed by the first quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions including the requisite regulatory approvals.

A MainOne Public Relations personnel confirmed the development to Technext but insisted the information at his desk is very minimal at the time. He however said it would be a total buyout.

MainOne was founded in 2010 by Nigerian, Funke Opeke. The company has 1,200 kilometres of reliable terrestrial fibre networks across southern Nigeria. It also owns and operates a subsea network from Nigeria to Portugal in Europe.

It also has digital infrastructure assets including three operational data centres across West Africa, with an additional facility under construction expected to open in Q1 2022. With these facilities, the company has enabled connectivity for the business community of Nigeria.

Undersea-Cable-Vulnerability

It is on this backdrop that Equinix believes MainOne to be one of the most exciting technology businesses to emerge from Africa. According to the president and CEO of the multinational company with headquarters in California, Charles Meyers, buying up MainOne would mark the first step in its long-term strategy to become a leading African carrier neutral digital infrastructure company. 

The acquisition of MainOne will represent a critical point of entry for Platform Equinix into the expansive and rapidly growing African market. MainOne’s leading interconnection position and experienced management team represent critical assets in our aspirations to be the leading neutral provider of digital infrastructure in Africa.

Charles Meyers, CEO of Equinix

He noted that growth of data consumption in Africa is amongst the fastest in the world, and MainOne’s infrastructure, customer relationships, partner ecosystem and operating capability will extend the Equinix’s reach and bolster opportunities for customers in Africa and throughout the world.

MainOne top management to keep their roles

According to the terms of the deal, Equinix will acquire MainOne and all its assets with an all-cash transaction at an enterprise value of US$320M. The company says this is expected to be AFFO accretive upon close, excluding integration costs.

It was also agreed that all members of the management team, including CEO Funke Opeke, will continue to serve in their respective roles. While Equinix will also be inheriting MainOne’s nearly 500 employees, it is yet unclear what will become of them under the new dispensation.

Equinix will also assume possession of MaineOne’s more than 64,000 gross square feet space in addition to 570,000 square feet of land for future expansions. Also part of the deal is an extensive submarine network extending 7,000 kilometers from Portugal to Lagos, Accra and along the west African coast, with landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire. 

Funke Opeke, CEO of MainOne

MainOne’s terrestrial network of more than 1,200 kilometers of reliable terrestrial fiber in Lagos, Edo and Ogun States will also be taken over as well as more than 800 business-to-business customers, including major international technology enterprises, social media companies, global telecommunications operators, financial service companies and cloud service providers.

MainOne CEO, Funke Opeke believes the acquisition will help accelerate the company’s long-term vision of growing digital infrastructure investment across Africa.

“Equinix will accelerate our long-term vision to grow digital infrastructure investments across Africa. With similar values and culture to what we have jointly built in twelve years, Equinix is the preferred partner for our growth journey. The MainOne team is excited about the partnership created through the acquisition, and we look forward to building our next chapter together.” 

Funke Opeke

Globally, Equinix has 237 data centers across 65 metros and 27 countries, providing data center and interconnection services for over 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies.


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