Compass Datacenters to be Acquired by Brookfield, Ontario Teachers

June 20, 2023
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners will team with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to acquire Compass Datacenters, a developer and operator of data center campuses for enterprise and hyperscale customers.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners will team with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to acquire Compass Datacenters, a developer and operator of data center campuses for enterprise and hyperscale customers, the companies said today.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chris Crosby and the current Compass management team will continue to lead the company post transaction closing. The sellers include Compass investors RedBird Capital Partners and the Azrieli Group.

Brookfield is a large global infrastructure investor, and will expand its presence in the data center sector. Brookfield owns Evoque Digital Infrastructure, and partners with Digital Realty to build data centers in Asia and South America (Ascenty).   

"The need for data storage continues to grow at an exponential rate across the globe, and Compass complements our existing platforms in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific," said Sam Pollock, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Infrastructure. "Compass is a best-in-class data center platform that we have known for years and we are excited to partner with Chris, the Compass team, and Ontario Teachers’ to support Compass on its rapid growth journey,”

Compass has scaled rapidly, particularly with its mega campuses in North America, and has been recognized as one of Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest growing companies for the past three years. The new ownership structure will provide Compass with continued strong operational and financial support to execute its sustainable and large-scale data center campuses across multiple regions. Compass has a proven product offering that provides its premier hyperscale customers with speed, flexibility and control to address the needs of the ever-changing technology landscape.

"I’m excited to embark on the next chapter of Compass’ evolution in partnership with Brookfield Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’, two leading investment firms,” said Crosby. “The industry is at a critical inflection point today with AI and cloud demand continuing to fuel significant growth. With Brookfield Infrastructure and Ontario Teachers’ strategic expertise and deep financial resources, Compass is ideally positioned to meet growing demand for hyperscale data centers and campuses.”

A History of Innovation

Compass launched in 2012 with a mission to bring wholesale data center suites to regional markets, which had been served primarily by “retail” colocation providers offering space by the cabinet or cage. That strategy required a sharp focus on economics, and right-sizing capacity for secondary markets. The company has built a reputation for innovation in data center design and construction.

In 2015 Compass adapted its design to pursue hyperscale customers, supporting larger building blocks and higher-density workloads. In 2019 the company took on new investors including RedBird Capital, the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund and Azrieli Group, along with additional capital that enabled Compass to build hyperscale campuses in many of the industry's largest markets, including Northern Virginia, Phoenix and Montreal.  

The Ontario Teachers will continue as part of the new ownership with Brookfield. /p>

“We are pleased to welcome our longstanding partner Brookfield Infrastructure as a co-controlling shareholder in Compass," said Ashvin Malkani, Senior Managing Director, Technology Group, Private Capital at Ontario Teachers. "With the acceleration of technology adoption and advent of emerging technologies such as generative AI, we expect that demand for world-class and sustainable data centers will continue to grow in the coming years. We look forward to working with them, Chris and the rest of Compass’ top-tier management team on the company’s next growth phase.”

The announcement did not include details on sale price. Recent media reports have suggested preliminary bids for Compass were above $5 billion.

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

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