A team of European veterans in the data center raised $ 200 million through a blank check business, which aims to build infrastructure, including towers and fiber networks, as an investor interest in the sector.
IX Acquisition has completed a listing on Nasdaq and is becoming one of the first specialty acquisition companies, or Spacs, to target communications assets.
Its goal is to become a major player in digital infrastructure in emerging markets or high-growth Europe, following a decision this week by IHS Towers, Africa’s largest tower company, to list in usa at a potential value of more than $ 7 billion.
Fiber networks and telecommunications towers have become key assets for private equity and infrastructure funds seeking stable returns, while a number of specialists, like the Cellnex of Spain, arose when telecom groups eliminated their Internet infrastructure assets and service businesses.
Guy Willner and Karen Bach, were originally the executive team behind IXEurope, the London-based data center company that was sold to the US competitor in 2007 for almost $ 500 million. They teamed up with a Noah Aptekar, a former SpaceX manager, and other veterans of the UK technology sector to run the new ‘blank check’ business.
An additional $ 30 million could be raised as a result of a general put option.
IX Acquisition has chosen pink flamingos as its logo to highlight the ‘long-term relationships’ it intends to build, according to Bach, CEO.
She told the Financial Times Nasdaq is the right home for IX Acquisition. ‘There are hundreds of businesses growing in this area and they need access to capital. Nasdaq has deep access to the capital and gives us the opportunity to give paper to a target company, ‘she said.
The Spac would be open-minded about where target companies would be located, but she said the strict management rules of Nasdaq mean it is likely to look at stable regions in Europe, Asia and Africa.
Willner, executive chairman, has set up three former data center businesses under the ‘IX’ banner – or interconnections – including businesses in Africa and Russia.
Sir Richard Branson is the most sought after British business figure to have listed a business via a Spac, Merge Virgin Galactic with a Blank Entity in 2019. Satellite security company Arqit also raised money via a Spac earlier this year.
However, the vehicles started fall out of favor with investors. Redemption rates have risen sharply since the first quarter, when there was a rush over Spac transactions.