Mapletree Industrial Trust acquiring $1.32 billion data centre portfolio in the United States

As the world’s largest and most established data centre market, United States accounted for about 28.7% of the global in sourced and outsourced data centre space.

SINGAPORE: Mapletree Industrial Trust (MIT) has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire 29 data centres located across 18 states in the United States at a purchase consideration of $1.32billion from Sila Realty Trust Inc., a news release said.

As the world’s largest and most established data centre market, United States accounted for about 28.7% of the global in sourced and outsourced data centre space.

Post-acquisition, MIT will have presence in 13 of the top 15 data centre markets in North America, with these markets accounting for about 64.2% of the North American data centres.

Tham Kuo Wei, Chief Executive Officer of the Manager, said, “This portfolio acquisition will enable us to scale up our data centre presence significantly and diversify our footprint across key markets in the United States. Data centres remain resilient with attractive growth opportunities, which are underpinned by the acceleration of digitalisation, cloud adoption and e-commerce during the pandemic. The New Portfolio will augment MIT’s portfolio with the increased freehold land component and long leases with embedded rental growth.”

The proposed acquisition also increases the geographical diversification of MIT’s data centre footprint and gains exposure to new established markets – Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.

Data centres are expected to benefit from growing demand drivers such as cloud computing and e-commerce as well as nascent trends such as the adoption of Internet of Things and 5G.

The increased levels of remote working, video streaming and online gaming during the COVID19 pandemic have also generated additional data centre capacity.

Mr Tham added, “The proposed acquisition marks a significant milestone in our expanded investment strategy since 2017 to include data centres beyond Singapore. This is in line with our strategic efforts to reshape the portfolio toward higher value uses. Data Centres will increase to 53.6% of MIT’s assets under management from 41.2% as at 31 March 2021.”

The proposed acquisition is aligned with the Manager’s long-term strategy of increasing its portfolio of data centres. Upon completion of the Proposed Acquisition, MIT’s assets under management will increase to S$8.6 billion fromS$6.8 billion as at 31 March 2021. Data Centres will increase to S$4.6 billion from S$2.8 billion as at 31 March 2021. Post-acquisition, MIT would be the one of the largest owners of data centres among REITs listed in Asia Pacific (by assets under management).

The new portfolio is 87.8% leased to 32 tenants, including Fortune Global 500 corporations, NYSE / NASDAQ-listed companies and multinational companies with investment grade ratings. The New Portfolio has a long weighted average lease to expiry of 7.9 years, with only 1.7% leases expiring within the next three financial years.

About 89.4%3 of leases in the New Portfolio have annual rental escalations from 1.5% to 3.0%. They are primarily on triple net leases with all outgoings borne by the tenants. With a total net lettable area of 3.3 million square feet, the 29 Properties are predominantly sited on freehold land. Following the completion of the Proposed Acquisition, freehold properties will increase to 65.8%5 of the enlarged portfolio (by land area) from 55.9% as at 31 March 2021.

The total acquisition outlay for the Proposed Acquisition is approximately $1,345.1 million (approximately S$1,815.9 million).

The manager of MIT, Mapletree Industrial Trust Management Ltd., intends to finance the total acquisition outlay through proceeds from an equity fund raising and debt. The Proposed Acquisition is expected to be distribution per unit and net asset value per unit accretive to MIT Unitholders.

The purchase consideration for the New Portfolio of US$1,320.0 million is at a discount of approximately 1.1% to the independent valuation of US$1,335.0 million by Newmark Knight Frank Valuation & Advisory, LLC.

The proposed acquisition is expected to complete in the third quarter of 2021.

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