Ashburn Insiders Provide Insight Into European Expansion: Brexit & M&A Big in 2018

Mar 12, 2018
by Josh Anderson

ASHBURN, VA — Europe’s data center market has been grabbing headlines for many reasons. GDPR, Brexit, and M&A to name a few. At our 2018 Data Center Forecast East, we convened a panel of industry leaders to discuss The Impact of Europe: Data Center Demand-Supply and Forecasting the Factors at Play Across the Pond, Including: Brexit and GDPR. Below we asked two of them for their thoughts on what 2018 holds for the data center arena. For example, if you’re a data center provider or end-user who wants to establish a presence in Europe, how do you decide where to go?

We first heard from Drew Leonard, Senior Vice-President at UPSTACK. “At the end of the day, there are markets that will always exist,” he replied. “Whether it’s underwater where they don’t have sufficient power yet or whatever it is, these markets exist. When I first started in the data center industry, talking about London was for the financial burden. But enterprises grew and the needs changed.”

In other words, you still need to be in London but you can be in downtown London or you can be in the outskirts. “And so based upon what your users are looking for, that will determine where they go to store their data,” he continued. “So there are always questionable markets, but the demand is there because the network connectivity is there and the end-users are there because there is  access to content. There are eyeballs. There is some kind of reason to make it all happen.”

Josh Buis, Principal, Data Center Advisory Group

We next connected with Josh Buis, Principal at the Data Center Advisory Group. “We have seen a lot M&A activity in the past few years,” he recalled. “And I think there is more of that to come. There are still a few assets appealing to Asia and north American and other operators that want to get in to the market. I see maybe two or three projects like what we saw happening with Zenium previously, happening in 2018.”

“With regards to Brexit and London, some people want to leave England but others want to pull their data back in,” ventured Buis. “The British market was fairly open – there was a lot of capacity in 2015. That’s changed. There isn’t a lot of a capacity in London now. However the hyperscale cloud operators are there and they’re growing out businesses. But there’s not a lot of runway, and I see a lot happening there. I would say that Frankfurt is a very small market, but just as healthy.”

Check out more CapRE Insider Reports on Europe, GDPR and Brexit:

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