DATA4 Group: PFA buys 20% of DATA4 from AXA IM for €200m

May 11, 2020 | Posted by Eric Bell

Denmark’s largest commercial pension fund PFA has bought a 20% stake in data centre platform DATA4 from AXA in its continued drive to pile on foreign real estate.

The DKK688bn (€92.2bn) pension fund said it bought the shares from AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets, which was also serving as manager for the platform.

Michael Bruhn, head of real estate at PFA, told IPE Real Assets the investment had cost €200m.

PFA said the investment would enable the DATA4 platform - which finances, designs, builds and operates data centres in various locations across Europe - to add new data centres in both existing and new markets.

Bruhn said: “An important part of our investment strategy is to increase our foreign real estate investments, focusing on international megatrends.”

The deal would enable PFA to gain further exposure to technological development and the rising level of data generation, he said.

“The market for data centres is generally characterised by the supply being unable to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand, and therefore we also expect that the investment will provide attractive returns for our customers,” he said.

PFA said DATA4 runs 19 data centres located in France, Italy, Luxembourg and Spain – with one more opening in Madrid this year – consisting of 85,000sqm net technical area and 204mw of available power.

It said this transaction added to its existing portfolio of data centre investments, which currently included centres in Europe, Asia and the US.

In October, PFA said it would be further angling its real estate portfolio towards international markets in the next few years, and that its new partnership with South Korean pension fund POBA could encompass DKK10bn of investments in alternative property assets including data centres.

AXA IM, on behalf of its client AXA France, took full ownership of DATA4 in July 2018, buying the remaining 63% it did not already own.