Australia’s largest data centre company NextDC is seeking to raise A$1.32bn (€802m) in new capital to finance its growing development pipeline and accelerate the expansion of its data centre networks in Sydney and Melbourne.

NextDC shares were halted on Thursday as the company launched a one-for-six entitlement offer at A$15.40 a share – a 7.8% discount to its last closing price of A$16.71 a share.

The issue is fully underwritten. An accelerated issue will be offered to major shareholders, followed by a smaller retail offering. Results of the institutional offer will be announced on 15 April.

NextDC CEO Craig Scroggie said the company continued to see significant growth in the demand for its data centre services underpinned powerful structural tailwinds.

“Amid this backdrop we decided to bring forward the development of fitouts of assets in Sydney and Melbourne to ensure we are able to meet this growth demand and… ensure the company is well positioned to take advantage of the diverse range of opportunities expected to present over the medium term.”

NextDC data centre in Australia

Source: NextDC

NextDC data centre in Australia

NextDC has flagged plans for an artificial intelligence facility in Port Melbourne. The project, described as the next generation of facilities, will cost more than A$1bn.

The company operates 13 data centres mostly in Australian capital cities with capacity ranging from 6MW to 300MW, and is developing another nine centres including new builds in Malaysia and New Zealand. It is evaluating potential sites in Tokyo and Singapore.