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KAO Data – UK’s Largest Data Centre Campus Tops £68m In Funding

  |   Kao Technology

New hub just outside London is now fully funded. First of four data centres, comprising 16 data halls in total, to be launched in 2017.

KAO Data Campus, a new £200m, 35-acre science and technology data centre campus located on the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor, has raised an extra £33m through a second funding round led by Downing LLP and managed by Goldacre Ventures.

With the new round, the final one before the first of four data centres is put to work, KAO Data Campus has topped £68m in raised debt and equity and is now fully funded. The equity has been raised from existing investors.

Tom Phillips, Investment Director at Downing, told Data Economy: “We believe that the site has clear potential and look forward to KAO becoming an important operator within the UK data centre market over the coming years.”

Downing’s investment in KAO is the organisation’s fourth investment into the data centre sector in recent years. The investment manager company has more than £700m of assets currently under management.

KAO Data Campus will include four data centres each split into four halls and designed over three floors, totalling around 150,000 sqf of net technical space.

Each technology suite will be capable of supporting a 2,175kW IT load totalling an 8.7MW IT load across each building. Infrastructure work across the site is part-funded by Harlow Council and HCA.

Also speaking to Data Economy, David Bloom, CEO of management boutique Goldacre Ventures said: “This latest raise represents an important milestone in the KAO Data Campus development project, emphasising a continuing commitment by investors into the UK’s technical infrastructure regardless of the current political uncertainty.”

Downing were advised by Charles Russell Speechlys (legal), BroadGroup Consulting (commercial due diligence), HMT LLP (financial due diligence) and CBRE (valuation advisory). KAO Data was advised on this transaction by Gowlings, Olswang and Penningtons.

Overview of the Harlow Business Park with construction works still ongoing. Source: KAO Data

KAO Park is the first part of the Harlow Enterprise Zone, one of 24 Enterprise Zones across England created by Government to stimulate business growth through offering tax and planning incentives as well as infrastructure development.

The data centre at KAO Park, KAO Data Campus, will be one of the UK’s largest data centre campuses when it comes online later this year.

The Harlow Enterprise Zone comprises two more developments in addition to KAO Park. This includes London Road North which will see the development of a new 25-acre Science Park on a greenfield site owned by Harlow Council, and Templefields, a long term re-development of an existing industrial estate into a modern business park.

Jan Daan Luycks, MD at KAO Data Campus, told Data Economy:

“The discovery of fibre optic cable technology on this site 50 years ago, has been fundamental to the UK’s economic development. The current renaissance of KAO Data Campus encapsulates this history and reaffirms the importance of the UK’s position as a global business hub, as well as its pledge to scientific and technological excellence.”

JCA Engineering has been recently appointed as KAO Data’s construction partner on phase one of the KAO Data Campus.

Power utility contractor Matrix Networks has been tasked with delivering the UKPN adoptable 33kV/11kV 43.5MVA sub-station providing capacity to support the whole Campus.

The sub-station is due for completion April 2017, with practical completion for the first data centre scheduled for the end of 2017.