GI Partners closes oversubscribed inaugural Data Infrastructure Fund at USD1.8bn in commitments

Private investment firm GI Partners has held the final closing of its inaugural Data Infrastructure Fund with USD1.8 billion in capital commitments from a broad group of investors.  

The fund was oversubscribed, surpassing its initial target of USD1.25 billion.

 
The GI Data Infrastructure Fund continues the firm’s 20-year history of control-oriented investing in hard asset infrastructure companies and properties underpinning the digital economy. The Fund will invest across four data infrastructure sub-sectors data centres, data transport, wireless access, and tech-enabled infrastructure, primarily in North America.  The team, which works closely with the firm’s private equity and real estate teams and leverages the firm’s broad resources, is led by Steve Smith, who was previously CEO of Equinix (the world’s largest data centre company), and Mark Prybutok, an experienced data infrastructure investor.
 
“Technology and communications are the largest and fastest growing drivers of the global economy and the infrastructure that supports these sectors is critical to the operation of every business, government, and household in the developed world,” says Steve Smith. “The disruption we have all experienced in 2020 due to the global pandemic has only served to underline the importance of data infrastructure to everyone’s life.”
 
“A core thesis of our Fund is to invest in elements of infrastructure closer to the end-user that will support both existing needs, as well as the next generation of critical applications utilising 5G technology, private networks, the Internet of Things, machine learning, and other innovations,” says Mark Prybutok.
 
“Since founding Digital Realty in 2001, GI Partners has always believed in the fundamentals that drive the digital economy, which is now essential to our daily lives,” says Rick Magnuson, Founder and Executive Managing Director of GI Partners. “We are delighted to have a dedicated fund and experienced team led by Mark and Steve, which will build on and strengthen our long-standing position in the data infrastructure space.”
 
GI Data Infrastructure’s diverse global investor base representing 11 countries includes sovereign wealth funds, pensions, financial institutions, investment management firms, foundations, and family offices.  Philip Yau, Managing Director of GI Partners, says: “We are grateful for the strong support of our investors, both our existing limited partners and the many new investors to GI Partners.  We welcome the opportunity to be both a capital and thought partner in the data infrastructure space to our investors as well our portfolio companies.”
 
The Fund was activated in January 2020 when it invested in DR Fortress, the premier data centre business in Hawaii. In June 2020, the fund acquired Blue Stream Fiber, a high-speed broadband provider in Florida. GI Partners’ other exited investments in the IT infrastructure sector include The Telx Group, The Planet, SoftLayer Technologies, ViaWest, and Wave Broadband.
 
Park Hill Group served as placement agent and Kirkland & Ellis served as legal counsel for the raise.