An infrastructure fund with $129 billion assets has bought Netrality Data Centers, a firm built by boutique property investors.

Karl Kuchel, CEO, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV.jpeg
Karl Kuchel, CEO, Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV – Macquarie Infrastructure Partners

Netrality managers were partners in the deal with investment fund Macquarie, the firm said in a press statement. They bought Netrality from Abrams Capital Management, an investment fund with $3.5bn of assets that include stakes in Facebook and Google parent Alphabet.

Netrality CEO Gerald Marshall, who formed Netrality with partners from his property investment fund Amerimar Enterprises in 2015, was part of the buyout partnership, said a spokeswoman for the firm. She was unable to give more details about the deal.

Australian investment bank Macquarie funded the Netrality buyout from a $5bn US fund it raised with investors in June, called Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV. The fund was managed as part of a $129bn portfolio called Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets. Macquarie raised €6bn ($6.6bn) for a European investment fund in June as well, called Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6.

The acquisition gave Macquarie six data centers that Netrality holds in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, St. Louis and Kansas. Netrality promotes itself as a company that provides data communications infrastructure that creates strong links between Internet fiber operators and cloud service providers.

"Netrality’s facilities represent a critical form of digital infrastructure," Karl Kuchel, CEO of the $5bn Macquarie Infrastructure Partners IV fund, said in a written statement.

"In addition to facilitating the public Internet, the sites allow companies to build direct private connections between networks," he said. Macquarie was expanding its portfolio of investments in communications infrastructure.

Netrality's Marshall said the company would get "access to significant growth capital" from Macquarie. It would use the money to buy businesses and properties. Netrality would "leverage their institutional relationships," he said of the deal in a press statement. Last year, Macquarie bought a stake in another US data center firm, Aligned Energy.

DCD understands Amerimar executives invested in Netrality privately, though Amerimar itself was a property investment fund, and was said by filings at US financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission to have raised about $7.5 million for investments. Abrams has worked in partnership with Amerimar.