Kao Data secures £206 mn debt raise to expedite data centre platform expansion

Kao Data, the specialist developer and operator of data centres engineered for AI and advanced computing, has successfully concluded a £206 million debt raise. This includes an accompanying accordion facility extendable to £356 million, via one of the world’s leading lenders to the data centre sector, Deutsche Bank

The announcement marks a significant step forward for Kao Data, providing debt financing to fast-track its new contracted developments with customers across the cloud, AI and financial services, and the build-out of its KLON-06 data centre in Slough.

Deutsche Bank, which has vast experience in the structuring of sustainable, digital infrastructure assets, has provided financing to drive the expansion of the business in line with growing customer demand for GPU-powered computing. The funding will support Kao Data’s expansion into next-tier markets across the UK and continental Europe. In late 2023 Kao Data also established a new capital structure with its shareholders Infratil Ltd, Legal & General Capital, and Goldacre Noé Group, which will provide incremental equity investment to accelerate Kao Data’s strategic growth plans.

The debt facility, for which Deutsche Bank have been named mandated lead arranger and sole underwriter, will allow Kao Data to consolidate its debt with a single, large financial services organisation, refinancing those existing lenders who have played an integral role in the advancement of its secure, highly scalable, and sustainable data centre platform during the last decade. 

A proportion of the new funding will repay Downing LLP, a UK-based responsible investment management firm founded in 1986, which invests across a range of sectors, including renewable energy, infrastructure, healthcare, operational real estate and property development. Downing has partnered with Kao Data since its earliest development debt requirements and has subsequently helped fund its growth from a single-site development to a UK-wide platform.

“The success of our new debt raise is testament to the growth of our business, our reputation for industry-leading operations and technical delivery, and both the scale and demand for world-class infrastructure, engineered for AI,” said Matthew Harris, CFO, Kao Data. “I’d like to thank our lenders for their trust in our philosophy and ambition, which has been fully vindicated during the last decade, and all who have played an instrumental part in the evolution of the Kao Data platform. Looking forward, we are delighted to be working with one of the world’s leading digital infrastructure lenders in Deutsche Bank.” 

“Since our first meeting with the company’s founders in 2015, we’ve been early believers in Kao Data’s expertise, mindset, and its vision for growth. We were delighted to provide Kao Data with growth capital funding in 2017 and saw an attractive opportunity to support them in the development of their sustainable data centre platform,” said Tom Phillips, Head of Institutional Business Development, Downing. “During the term of our investment, Kao Data has proved itself as an excellent example of what we look for in the businesses we like to back: a high-quality management team with a compelling business case. We are proud to have helped the company establish a firm foothold as a leader in one of the world’s most competitive, international data centre markets, whilst also delivering a successful return for our funds.”

Kao Data’s new financial capability with Deutsche Bank reinforces an exceptional twelve months for the organisation, which has secured several key customers from within the AI, hyperscale cloud, research, and financial services sectors. In May 2023 Kao Data also announced a new £350M investment into a state-of-the-art Greater Manchester data centre, followed by the completion of its KLON-02 facility in Harlow in November.  

Kao Data’s advanced data centre portfolio now includes more than 160MW of IT-load, either currently operational, under development or planned – all of which is underpinned by the highest energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) credentials.

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