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Equinix cuts $705m check for Chilean, Peruvian datacenters

Colocation giant goes on a Santiago shopping spree

Equinix is set to acquire four datacenter facilities in South America, three in Chile and one in Peru, from Chilean telecom giant Entel in a sale expected to close the second quarter of 2022.

The deal will expand Equinix's reach into Latin American countries and will require the colocation giant to shell out $705m for the privilege of doing so. 

US-based Equinix first entered Latin America in 2011. Since then, the multinational said it has invested $1.2bn in operations in Columbia, Mexico, and Brazil. "Latin America holds enormous potential, and our commitment to the region has exponentially grown since we entered back in 2011," said Equinix President and CEO Charles Meyers.

Meyers isn't alone in seeing value in the emerging markets of Latin America, especially Chile, which IDC thinks is primed for massive growth. The analyst house said Chilean cloud spending is expected to increase by 34.6 per cent between 2020 and 2024, while IoT and analytics will grow by 18.7 percent and 11.2 percent, respectively. 

Generally speaking, Latin America has shown some interest in edge technologies, with Latin American companies spending $4.7m on edge tech in 2020, a 7.54 percent growth compared to the year prior. IDC predicts that the greatest impact of that spending will be visible in the growth of industries including autonomous vehicles, robots, augmented reality, machine learning, and IoT. 

All of that new research, development, and production is growing to require a lot of cloud connectivity and datacenter space, said Equinix EVP and GP for Datacenter Services and Interim Americas President Jon Lin. 

"With these new [datacenters], businesses in this region as well as multinationals will be able to operate on an expanded global interconnection platform to process, store, interconnect and distribute larger volumes of latency-sensitive data and applications at the digital edge, closer to end users and local markets," Lin said. The projected $53m in annual revenue from the four facilities is probably just a bonus. 

As for what those datacenters look like, Equinix gave a few details. 

Three of the datacenters are located in the Santiago metro area. One in Ciudad de los Valles "is the largest multitenant datacenter in Santiago," and has expansion opportunities. Another in downtown Santiago is described as network-dense and is located adjacent to Entel Tower, a large telecommunications tower, and the city government center. Equinix said the downtown location also has a heightened security environment, making it ideal for government and financial institution use. 

The last of the Santiago-area datacenters is located away from the city itself, and is designed for backup and disaster recovery services. 

The fourth building, a Tier III site in Lima, Peru, is part of the deal as well, but it is slightly more in the "maybe" column than the other three, as its part in the deal is "pending finalization of a definitive agreement." 

Of the use of energy and renewable resources in its new datacenters, Equinix told The Register today it expects the acquisition of the datacenters to move it "one step closer to being fully renewable in the future" thanks to Chile's ample renewable energy resources from solar, hydroelectric, and wind. 

Speaking particularly of the Ciudad de los Valles datacenter, an Equinix spokesperson said it "is the only one in Chile with Tier IV Gold certification in Operational Sustainability and has been recognized by the Uptime Institute for its efficient use of energy, making it one of the most efficient Tier IV centers operated today in our country and worldwide."

Equinix said it achieved 90 percent renewable energy globally "for the third consecutive year" in 2020. It plans to assess further sustainability plans and how to enact them in Chile and Peru once the deal closes. ®

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