Ardian completes acquisition of leading green data center platform Verne

Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, has completed the acquisition of the entire share capital of Verne (formerly Verne Global), a leading data center platform headquartered in the UK and diversified across Northern Europe, from Digital 9 Infrastructure plc (D9), an investment company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Ardian will support the expansion of Verne with up to $1.2bn committed investment through equity and debt to deliver an ambitious growth plan for Northern Europe supported by Verne’s strong and experienced management team.

As part of its value creation strategy, Ardian plans to multiply Verne’s existing sold capacity of 29 MW for 2023 by close to four times in the medium term.

Ardian will bring its investment experience to support Verne in the region, where the company benefits from construction and operating synergies across the geographies and a strong pipeline of opportunities. This includes existing sites and new locations, with a focus on Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway, as well as potential opportunities more broadly in Northern Europe.

The Verne’s top tier management team, including highly experienced data center experts and seasoned professionals, will benefit from direct access to Ardian’s networks and multi-local approach, with various offices across Northern Europe. Verne will also work with Ardian’s Data Science team to apply new AI use cases in managing its data centers.

This acquisition builds on Ardian’s deep expertise in investing and managing assets across the digital infrastructure value chain and in its core markets, including the UK and Nordic countries.

Ardian currently has $31bn of assets under management (AUM) in direct infrastructure activities. It has $6bn deployed across different sub-sectors of digital infrastructure. Its investment portfolio of renewable energy in the Nordics currently aggregates to $3bn, notably wind parks totaling c. 500 MW and Nevel, the Finnish district heating company backed by Ardian in 2021.

This represents a Sustainable Investment in accordance with the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), meeting the environmental objective of the Fund through 100% eligibility to the EU Taxonomy with a clearly defined roadmap to reach alignment under Ardian’s ownership.

With this new investment, the infrastructure team continues to demonstrate its capacity to seize unique and value accretive opportunities in the European market to deploy our new flagship infrastructure fund.” Juan Angoitia and Benoit Gaillochet, co-heads of infrastructure Europe, Ardian.

“Having identified the company through our systemic matrix sourcing approach, looking through both a digital infrastructure and country specific lens, we identified Verne as a truly green data center compared with its peers globally. This investment is fully aligned with our approach at Ardian of investing into platforms and delivering strong returns through major industrial strategy backed by an accelerated capex plan.  Ardian will support Verne’s top tier management team to match the incredible and fascinating customer AI-driven demand. With this investment, Ardian Infrastructure is now exposed to the whole digital infrastructure value chain capitalising on global digitalisation trends.” Gonzague Bautry, managing director – digital infrastructure, Ardian.

“This is an exciting day for Verne as we become part of the Ardian platform. We have ambitious plans to continue growing the company and delivering sustainable data center solutions. We want to enable organisations to cost-effectively scale their digital infrastructure while reducing their environmental impact. We are hugely excited to be working with Ardian to help power our future.” Dominic Ward, CEO, Verne.

Verne addresses a large and fast-growing market in Northern Europe, where it has consistently delivered access to cost-effective renewable energy and international connectivity spanning Europe and North America for its international clients.

Its highly competitive total cost of ownership to customers, green credentials and best-in-class availability makes Verne a market-leading choice for organisations running high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, notably AI, Machine Learning and Large Language Models (LLM).

Sustainability has also been at the heart of the company’s mission since its inception, helping customers to scale their digital infrastructure cost-effectively while reducing their carbon footprint. Verne currently operates with 100% renewable energy in Iceland and 100% decarbonised energy in Finland and the UK.

Its blue-chip customers include leading industrials, financial services, research and AI organisations.

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