• Alex Pettee, CFA

Data Center REITs: Merger Madness

  • The Data Center REIT sector has been substantially and rapidly transformed as the three largest data center portfolio acquisitions in history have been announced in just the past several months.

  • We predicted an impending M&A boom but expected Digital Realty and Equinix to scoop up their smaller peers. Instead, CyrusOne and QTS have been taken private while American Tower acquired CoreSite.

  • While we'll bid farewell to these three data center REITs, Switch announced plans last week to convert to a REIT while Cyxtera sees a REIT conversion as a "medium-term" goal.

  • The lack of serious interest from DLR and EQIX - which are sitting on a mountain of dry powder - suggests that these REITs are working on a major M&A deal of their own and a mega-merger between the two isn't outside the realm of possibility.

  • Scale is critical amid intense competition from the hyperscale giants – Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Pricing power remains soft, but external growth through building and buying continues to fuel solid FFO and dividend growth.

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Disclosure: Hoya Capital Real Estate advises two Exchange-Traded Funds listed on the NYSE. In addition to any long positions listed below, Hoya Capital is long all components in the Hoya Capital Housing 100 Index and in the Hoya Capital High Dividend Yield Index. Index definitions and a complete list of holdings are available on our website.

Additional Disclosure: It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Index performance cited in this commentary does not reflect the performance of any fund or other account managed or serviced by Hoya Capital Real Estate. Data quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy.

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