Canadian cableco Shaw Communications yesterday agreed to purchase US-based data centre provider ViaWest for USD830 million plus USD370 million debt from private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, the Wall Street Journal reports. Shaw’s CEO Brad Shaw, explaining the motivation for the cross-border purchase, said: ‘Demand [for data centres] continues to outstrip supply,’ and he added that Shaw sees opportunities to connect its existing data centres in Alberta with ViaWest sites to cross-sell services to each other’s business clients, while also using ViaWest’s expertise to help expand its Canadian data centre business. Shaw also intends the purchase of ViaWest to complement its April 2013 acquisition of Enmax Envision, which provides telecoms services to business customers over its own fibre network in Calgary and surrounding areas of Alberta. According to the report, the North American multi-tenant data-centre market is forecast to grow from an estimated USD11.2 billion this year to approximately USD14.8 billion in two years’ time.
ViaWest, based in Denver, Colorado, operates 27 data centres in eight markets in the western US, and has around 1,300 mainly mid-sized company clients. Shaw plans to operate ViaWest as a standalone entity, pending regulatory approval and deal closure expected next month.