APG makes second data center investment in Asia

The Dutch pension fund manager has committed close to $700m in the region’s data center platforms since the second quarter of 2020.

Pension fund manager APG Asset Management has acquired a 20 percent stake in Hong Kong-headquartered data center platform OneAsia, as part of its plan to increase its exposure in the sector globally, PERE can reveal exclusively.

With assets in both Hong Kong and China, OneAsia is an integrated data center developer and operator that owns both hyperscale and colocation data centers. The firm is also in the process of expanding its portfolio into Japan, Korea and Thailand. Following APG’s 20 percent investment, the remaining 80 percent of OneAsia is owned by Hong Kong-based data center and IT infrastructure platform Legan Group.

“With the increase in data usage for all aspects of our social and business lives, we identified the need to make a strategic and global allocation to this asset class,” said Graeme Torre, head of real estate at APG Asset Management Asia. “However, with the rate of change in technology it is important to invest alongside partners that will keep us ahead in terms of development and innovation. OneAsia’s track record in this respect and its aspirations in the field of ESG made them an obvious partner for us.”

APG declined to comment on the price of the transaction.

The firm has committed close to $700 million in data center platforms in Asia since the second quarter of 2020, and this is APG’s second investment in the region. The investor entered the market last year by purchasing a 10.43 percent stake in Bain Capital-backed hyperscale data center solution provider Chindata. The transaction made APG the second biggest shareholder in the China-based firm after Bain Capital, which owned 57.17 percent in the platform. In September 2020, Chindata raised $540 million in its US initial public offering after pricing its shares at the top end of the target range.

With an expectation of generating higher-than-core returns, Torre pointed out the China and Hong Kong data center markets are forecast to grow considerably. “We aim not only to diversify our investments geographically but also strategically. Chinadata and OneAsia offer us exposure hyperscale and colocation data centers and those customers as a consequence,” he explained.

In addition to having data center assets in its real estate portfolio, APG started investing in data center operators as early as 2005. Torre believes that investing in platforms would be the best way to generate value from real estate going forward. “Our preference to is to invest alongside sector specialists which both own the assets and participate in their operation.”