KAO Data Campus secures £33m in fund raising round

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  • KAO Data Campus secures £33m funding in second round of fund raising
  • Fund raising facility was led by Downing LLP and managed by Goldacre Ventures
  • KAO Data London One is now fully funded and will be the first (of a final four) data centre building(s) to be completed. Each data centre will support a critical technology load of 8.7MW

KAO Data Campus, the new state-of-the-art science and technology data centre campus located on the Harlow Enterprise Zone, today announced that it has raised £33m through a funding facility led by Downing LLP (‘Downing’) and managed by Goldacre Ventures.

This is the second round of funding and takes the total amount of debt and equity raised to £68m. It will also be the final round before KAO Data London One’s development is complete. The equity has been raised from existing investors and represents a significant milestone in the development of one of the UK’s largest data centre campuses.

Downing, an investment manager with more than £700m of assets under management, has a focus on the data centre industry and the debt facility it is providing to KAO will be its fourth investment into the sector in recent years.

This announcement follows recent news that Stevenage based firm, JCA Engineering, was appointed as KAO Data’s construction partner on phase one of the KAO Data Campus. This comprises the first data centre (KAO Data London One) and technology suite.

Matrix Networks, the specialist power utility contractor, is delivering the UKPN adoptable 33kV/11kV 43.5MVA sub-station providing capacity to support the whole Campus. The sub-station is due for completion April 2017, with practical completion for the first data centre scheduled for the end of 2017.

David Bloom, Chief Executive, Goldacre Ventures said: “This latest raise represents an important milestone in the KAO Data Campus development project, emphasising a continuing commitment by investors into the UK’s technical infrastructure regardless of the current political uncertainty. We are delighted to have secured this investment from Downing – they are an experienced data centre investor and throughout the fundraising process have demonstrated their ability to move quickly and understand this market.”

Jan Daan Luycks, Managing Director, KAO Data Campus said: “The discovery of fibre optic cable technology on this site 50 years ago, has been fundamental to the UK’s economic development. The current renaissance of KAO Data Campus encapsulates this history and reaffirms the importance of the UK’s position as a global business hub, as well as its pledge to scientific and technological excellence.”

Tom Phillips, Investment Director, Downing said: “The KAO project provides us with the opportunity to back a strong team to deliver a compelling business plan. We believe that the site has clear potential and look forward to KAO becoming an important operator within the UK data centre market over the coming years.”

The wider KAO Park, The Enterprise Zone and London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor have received strong interest from life science businesses and organisations. It was announced in September 2015 that defence innovation specialist Raytheon UK and electronics supplier Arrow Electronics had each taken 55,000 sq ft of space at the KAO One office building, taking KAO Park to 60% let ahead of its first completion. These occupiers, as well as other specialist organisations, have established the region as one of scientific discovery.

KAO Park is named after Charles Kao who, 50 years ago, co-discovered the technology behind fibre optic cable whilst working for Standard Telephone Laboratories (later Nortel). His work won him the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics.

KAO Data Campus will comprise of four data centres each split into four halls and designed over three floors, totalling around 150,000 sq ft. net technical space. Each technology suite will be capable of supporting a 2,175kW IT load totalling an 8.7MW IT load across each building. Infrastructure work across the site is part-funded by Harlow Council and HCA.

Downing’s transaction team included Tom Phillips, Jonathan Boss, David Butler, Peter Naylor and Katherine Allum Wilson. Downing were advised by Charles Russell Speechlys (legal), BroadGroup Consulting (commercial due diligence), HMT LLP (financial due diligence) and CBRE (valuation advisory).

KAO data was advised on this transaction by Gowlings, Olswang and Penningtons

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