AT&T Closes $1.1B Sale Of Data Center Business As New Colocation Provider Emerges


AT&T rang in the new year by completing the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Canadian asset management investment firm Brookfield Infrastructure.

Brookfield, for its part, has launched a new, wholly-owned company called Evoque Data Center Solutions, which it will use to own and operate the data center assets. The transaction includes 18 of AT&T's data center facilities in the United States and 13 outside the country.

The deal, first announced in June, came just one week after AT&T completed its $85.4 billion blockbuster acquisition of Time Warner.

[Related: AT&T Channel Chief: 'Now, We are Challenging Our Solution Providers']

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Brookfield said that all customer contracts, employees supporting the colocation operations, fixed assets, leases and specified owned facilities, have been transferred to Brookfield.

Brand new colocation provider Evoque, which is headquartered in Dallas, has joined AT&T's global colocation ecosystem program. AT&T and its partners can now offer Evoque's colocation services to business customers.

A spokesperson AT&T said that the agreement builds on AT&T’s nearly 20-year history of giving customers access to "premier" data centers, and is an evolution to its colocation ecosystem strategy.

"The strategic alliance will build on the success of the ecosystem model, allowing AT&T to continue to offer colocation services through Evoque Data Center Solutions,” the company spokesperson said. “Over the past several years, AT&T has added additional data center providers to this ecosystem program. We have found that our customers’ data center and cloud connectivity needs vary greatly across geographies and industry sectors. Having a diverse ecosystem of best-in-class colocation providers in key global markets can best address our customer’s unique IT infrastructure cloud requirements."

The carrier giant's colocation ecosystem gives business customers access to more than 350 global data centers, according to AT&T.

Via the terms of the deal, AT&T received $1.1 billion to be used to pay down debt, the Dallas-based carrier said.

The deal follows suit with moves that other large carriers have made in recent years in shedding their own data center assets. Verizon in 2017 sold 29 of its data centers that it acquired from Terremark in 2011 to Equinix for $3.6 billion. Also in 2017, CenturyLink sold its data center assets to a consortium of private equity firms for $2.3 billion, which then created colocation provider Cyxtera.