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Time Dotcom’s sale of AIMS data center finally has suitors?

Earlier this year, there were reports that Time Dotcom was looking to sell off its data center business. While it is unsure why exactly Time Dotcom is planning to do this, the potential sale of its data center comes at an interesting time, given the increased demand for them.

In fact, the data center market in Southeast Asia and Malaysia, in particular, has been witnessing positive growth in recent times. Last year, Microsoft announced plans to establish its first data center in the country, which is expected to generate US$4.6 billion in revenue for the country.

There are currently 32 colocation data centers in Malaysia. Malaysia’s largest data center is owned by TM One. TM One currently has 12 data centers comprising more than 180,000 sq ft space. Other players in Malaysia’s data center market include Bridge Data Centers, NTT Malaysia, Strateq, and Keppel Corp.

In the southern state of Johor, YTL Power International Berhad and GDS Holdings are co-developing 168MW of data center capacity across eight data center facilities at the upcoming YTL Green Data Center Park. The first phase of the co-development will enter service in 2024.

Time Dotcom’s data center business, AIMS Data Center offers colocation, managed services, and disaster recovery offerings. The company has three data centers in Malaysia and one in Bangkok, with planned facilities in Vietnam as well. In 2021, AIMS Data Center also received the prestigious 2021 Malaysia Data Centre Services Company of the Year Award by Frost & Sullivan.

Time Dotcom is backed by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd. The fund has been under the spotlight recently as it had been continuously selling assets it owned. Apart from AIMS Data Center, Time Dotcom also offers enterprise cloud and broadband services.

Now, Bloomberg reports that US-based investors DigitalBridge Group Inc., I Squared Capital-owned BDx and Equinix Inc. are among potential suitors for AIMS Data Center, according to people familiar with the matter.

 Bloomberg’s report added that Stonepeak-backed Digital Edge and Temasek Holdings Pte’s ST Telemedia Globe Data Centres are also among the possible bidders. The report added that the suitors are conducting due diligence on AIMS Data Center’s assets, as they weigh making binding offers, the people said.

In March this year, Bloomberg also reported that the potential sale would see Time Dotcom raise about US$500 million to $600 million in a deal. The company is now worth about US$1.8 billion.

While it remains to be seen if the deal will go through, the move is not only expected to have a huge impact on Time Dotcom and its future plans in the industry but also on the data center industry in the country, especially with demand for them continuing to increase.