SYDNEY-based hyperscale data centre operator AirTrunk has converted its existing $2.1 billion corporate loan into a sustainability linked loan (SLL), in what is believed to the first deal of its kind in the Asia Pacific.
The loan is also considered the largest by a data centre operator globally and the first to utilise operating power usage effectiveness (PUE) as a sustainability key performance indicator (KPI).
The existing loan, as well as future increment loans and investment made by AirTrunk, will be sustainability linked as the company embarks on further expansion of its data centre platform in the region.
AirTrunk has established its loan KPIs across three key areas, being diversity and inclusion, carbon neutrality, and energy efficiency, and which will be independently assured.
“By transitioning to this SLL with three ambitious KPIs including one for Operating PUE, we are holding ourselves to account to achieve our sustainability objectives,” AirTrunk founder and CEO, Robin Khuda said.
“We are focusing on delivering responsible digital growth in the region, an important priority not just for AirTrunk but also our key stakeholders including our customers, employees, investors, government, and the broader community.”
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets took out an 88% stake in AirTrunk last year that valued the data centre operator at $3 billion. The firm has since been expanding into Asia, and in the past year opened its first data centres in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Macquarie Asset Management – the parent of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets – closed out $1.1 billion in equity commitments for a new opportunistic real estate fund focused on Asia Pacific in June. The fund has a mandate to invest in specialist platforms and direct real estate while pursuing opportunities in the region’s developed markets arising from recent market dislocation. Data from Canalys in March showed global spending on cloud infrastructure in 2020 increase 33% to US$142 billion, driven by remote working and online games.
Joint advisors for the AirTrunk SLL were Credit Agricole CIB and Deutsche Bank. Norton Rose Fulbright and Gilbert + Tobin acted as the borrower’s and lender’s legal counsel respectively.
The company will soon be releasing its first sustainability report and new sustainability initiatives.