PGIM Real Estate and global digital infrastructure company, Equinix, have formed a US$575m (€494m) joint venture to develop and operate two hyperscale data centres in Sydney, Australia.

PGIM Real Estate will control an 80% equity interest in the joint venture which will own the two xScale data centres, with Equinix owning the remaining 20%.

This is the very first data centre investment in Asia-Pacific for PGIM Real Estate, and the joint venture model could become the forerunner of similar ventures globally [between the partners], according to Morgan Laughlin, PGIM Real Estate’s managing director and head of Japan.

“This is 80-20 model, which is what Equinix has used previously,” Laughlin told IPE Real Assets. “We are using this structure in Australia. The expectation is we would be doing more such ventures elsewhere.”

Eric Adler, CEO of PGIM Real Estate, said the plan is to expand “this strategic relationship in other markets, providing our investors with further access to the increasingly important digital infrastructure sector”.

Laughlin said PGIM Real Estate had previously invested in the US with Digital Realty and had recently exited those assets.

“We are at the moment rebuilding our data centre investment,” he said. “Our big focus is this Equinix relationship, which we have been working with for quite some time.”

Charles Meyers, Equinix president and CEO, said the investment would enable expansion of the Equinix ecosystem in Australia.

Equinix is already the leading data centre provider in Australia, with 17 International Business Exchange data centres, which will increase to 18 when another centre, PE3, in Perth opens later this year. 

The US-based data centre operator has been expanding rapidly through partnerships with global institutional investors. It has established two US$1bn joint ventures with GIC to develop hyperscale data centres in Japan and Europe.

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