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Chindata Receives $490M for Data Center Expansion In Asia

Chindata receives a $490 million loan in the midst of Asia’s data centre boom, while Northern Data considers an IPO for a $10–$16 billion AI unit.

TakeAway Points:

  • Bain Capital-owned Chindata secured a $490 million loan to expand its data center operations in Asia, reflecting strong demand for cloud services and AI.
  • Northern Data AG is thinking about going public in the United States with a $10 billion to $16 billion valuation for its AI cloud computing and data centre divisions.
  • Google and BlackRock are working together to build a gigawatt of solar power in Taiwan with the goal of net-zero emissions by 2030 and powering data centres.

Chindata receives $490 Million Loan

Bain Capital-owned Chindata Group Holdings Ltd. has secured a $490 million five-year syndicated loan to support its data center operations in Asia. This loan, which refinances an existing facility for the firm’s Malaysian unit, attracted seven lenders in syndication. The lenders include DBS Group Holdings Ltd., China Merchants Bank Co., Credit Agricole SA, China Minsheng Banking Corp., Bank of East Asia Ltd.’s Singapore branch, Bayfront Infrastructure Management Pte., Fubon Bank Hong Kong Ltd., and China Citic Bank International Ltd.

The loan follows a series of AI sector-related financings in Asia, reflecting the region’s growing demand for data storage and computing infrastructure. Tech companies and financiers like Microsoft Corp. and KKR & Co. are investing heavily in data centers to support the estimated 25% annual increase in demand for cloud services and generative AI. Chindata, founded in 2015, operates hyperscale data centers in China’s major economic centers and has expanded its operations to India, Malaysia, and Thailand. Bain Capital took the company private last year in a deal worth about $3.2 billion.

Northern Data Examines IPO for AI Unit

Northern Data AG is exploring a US initial public offering (IPO) for its combined artificial intelligence cloud computing and data center businesses. The company is in discussions with potential advisers, with suggested valuations ranging from $10 billion to $16 billion. The IPO could take place as early as the first half of next year, listing the entity comprising its cloud computing activities, dubbed Taiga, and its data centers, called Ardent, on the Nasdaq.

Northern Data shares surged as much as 26% on the news. The proposed valuation reflects the current market enthusiasm for AI stocks. The valuation range considers previous and future purchases of AI chips by Northern Data, as well as comparisons to other companies like CoreWeave, which was recently valued at approximately $19 billion. 

Northern Data may also sell a minority stake in the unit to investors before the listing. The company, which went public in 2018, has been pivoting from crypto mining to high-performance computing and AI applications due to thinning profit margins in the crypto sector.

Google Invests in Taiwanese Solar Developer

Google has announced a partnership with BlackRock to develop a 1 gigawatt pipeline of new solar capacity in Taiwan. This investment aims to boost energy capacity and reduce carbon emissions amid the AI boom. Google will make a capital investment in Taiwanese solar developer New Green Power, a BlackRock portfolio firm, to facilitate the buildout of its large-scale solar pipeline. The investment amount has not been disclosed and is pending regulatory approval.

The new solar capacity will help power Google’s data centers and cloud region in Taiwan, contributing to the company’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions across all operations and value chains by 2030. Some of the clean energy capacity will also be offered to Google’s chip suppliers and manufacturers in the region. 

“We expect to procure up to 300 [megawatts] of solar energy from this pipeline through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and the associated energy attribute certificates (Taiwan Renewable Energy Certificates or T-RECS) to help meet electricity demand from our data center campus, cloud region and office operations in Taiwan,” Amanda Peterson Corio, Google’s global head of data center energy, stated.

Taiwan is a significant player in the semiconductor industry, producing nearly 60% of the world’s semiconductor chips. However, about 97% of Taiwan’s energy is generated from non-renewable sources, highlighting the need for renewable energy investments. David Giordano, BlackRock’s global head of climate infrastructure, emphasized the importance of investing in clean energy to meet the growing demand for digital services powered by AI and data-centric technologies.

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