Global telecommunications giant AT&T has announced a strategic partnership with Brookfield Infrastructure which will see AT&T transfer 31 data centers to Brookfield.
The deal includes 18 Internet Data Centers (IDCs) in the USA, plus 13 internationally. AT&T will continue to provide networking services to the IDCs and will be the anchor tenant of the data centers, as well as being an active sales channel for the new business.
Brookfield will deliver colocation services to the transitioning customer base of over 1,000 global organizations across the financial, industrial, retail and technology sectors. The company has a successful track record of owning and operating infrastructure assets worldwide, with over $75 billion under management.
Brookfield is establishing a new business to hold and operate the assets, and will appoint Tim Caulfield – currently CEO of IT management consultancy ANTARA Group – as CEO of the new company. The leadership team will also include experienced professionals from within AT&T and other prominent IT firms.
Under the agreement, client contracts, employees, facilities and fixed assets will be transferred to Brookfield. AT&T will receive $1.1 billion, which it will use to reduce debts. The company is more than $180 billion in the red after its recent acquisitions of Time Warner and DirecTV.
The deal builds upon AT&T’s 20-year history of delivering premier data centers, connectivity services, mobility services, security services, consulting services and cloud networking. As part of the company’s colocation ecosystem program, AT&T will provide clients with access to colocation services at over 350 facilities, including the 31 transferred IDCs.
The sale follows an emerging trend in which large telecoms companies are extricating themselves from the data centre infrastructure business by selling unprofitable facilities. In 2016, Verizon sold its data centers for $3.6 billion to Equinix, while CenturyLink sold 57 data centers to Cyxtera for $2.3 billion.