DigitalBridge could join the fight to purchase a stake in Australian data center operator AirTrunk.

The US-based asset manager, which focuses on digital infrastructure and AI investments, is said to be lining up a bid for AirTrunk, which provides hyperscale data centers across the Asia Pacific region.

airtrunk hong kong ATHKG1.jpg
AirTrunk's Hong Kong data center ATHGK1 – AirTrunk

As reported by DCD, AirTrunk’s current owners, Macquarie Group and Canada's Public Sector Pension (PSP) Investment Board, have been weighing up whether to sell all or part of the business, and this week reportedly sent non-disclosure agreements to interested parties.

According to The Australian, Digital Bridge is one of those now taking a look at the company, joining the likes of KKR, Brookfield, and GIP.

Blackstone is also said to be interested and is thought to be the front-runner to clinch a deal.

Reports have suggested the sale will value AirTrunk at somewhere between AU$12-AU$15 billion ($7.9-$9.9 billion), and The Australian reports that a 50 percent stake in the business is up for grabs.

It says the sale process is expected to get underway in earnest next month.

AirTrunk’s owners have been looking for alternative funding sources for the last year, and had investigated taking the company public via an initial public offering (IPO). DCD reported last September that Macquarie and PSP had been investigating a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Founded in 2015, AirTrunk operates hyperscale facilities in countries including Australia, Japan, and Singapore. It is planning to open a 320MW site in Sydney as part of a major expansion that will see it launch at least five new data centers across the region.

DigitalBridge, which manages assets with a value of over $80 billion, is already familiar with the Australian market, having last year completed a deal for Sydney-based AMP Capital’s infrastructure equity investment business. The business has since been rebranded InfraBridge. The company owns a number of data center companies, including Vantage, which already has data centers in Australia and across APAC.

Blackstone owns operator QTS, which doesn't currently have an APAC presence. KKR and GIP (the latter recently acquired by BlackRock) own CyrusOne, which also doesn't have a footprint in Australia but is expanding into Japan.

Brookfield owns a dedicated Australasian operator in DCI Data Centers, while its US-based Evoque business exited facilities in Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong amid a wider international retreat in 2022.

Cyxtera - recently acquired amid bankruptcy and set to be rolled into Evoque, offers capacity in India through a partnership with local operator Sify. Brookfield is also an investor in a Digital Realty joint venture in India.