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Super Fund to invest US$115M in data centres

New Zealand's $41 billion Superannuation Fund will invest up to US$115 million in North American data centres as it seeks to capitalise on the growing demand for data infrastructure. 

The investment is being made alongside vehicles managed by CIM Group, a North American real estate and infrastructure owner and operator, the fund said. The investment will be operated by CIM on behalf of the NZ Super Fund and includes potential access to some of CIM’s pipeline of future data centre transactions and the six data centres it already has at various stages of development and operation.

“Data centres offer strong infrastructure-like returns underpinned by exponential growth in digital data," said NZ Super Fund head of external investments and partnerships Del Hart. 

"We are seeing increasing customer demand for offsite data centres as enterprises either shift data management to third-party providers or move to the cloud. Furthermore, by 2021, data volumes are expected to be nearly three times 2016 levels."  

The fund's investment is in the provision and leasing of data centre facilities and infrastructure and not in data centre operation, it added. 

CIM's data centres are located across North America in San Francisco, California; Toronto, Ontario; Orangeburg, New York; Chicago, Illinois; and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The fund also has a 39 percent investment in New Zealand information technology company Datacom, which has a network of data centres in New Zealand and Australia.

The NZ Super Fund is a sovereign wealth fund owned by the government to partially pre-fund the cost of national superannuation. It has returned 10.1 percent per annum since inception in 2003.

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