Real estate firm Merlin Properties is looking to expand its data center operations, and could sell assets or seek an investment partner as it looks to raise €2 billion ($2.17bn) for new projects.

CEO Ismael Clemente told shareholders at the company’s AGM last week that it was considering several options to help the growth of its data center subsidiary.

Merlin Edged Barcelona
Merlin Properties' Barcelona data center – Edged Energy

Clemente said the company would require €2 billion to fund its plans for data centers, which would see up to 200MW capacity added to its portfolio.

Raising this cash could be done through a capital increase, a sale of assets or by obtaining funds from external partners, Clemente said.

He added that Merlin has already received interest from pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies and other large investment vehicles keen to back its data center venture.

In comments reported by Iberian Property, Clemente said the company’s existing data centers - in Bilbao, Barcelona, and Getafe - will offer 33MW capacity by the end of the year thanks to new servers being installed. By 2026, this will have increased to 60MW.

It is also planning to launch an 80MW data center in Lisbon, while the long-term plan for the Bilbao site is to grow capacity to 100MW.

Merlin said its trio of Spanish data centers each have a PUE of 1.15, and use 100 percent renewable energy. The Barcelona facility is directly corrected via its meet-me room to the Barcelona cable landing station which houses the 2Africa and Medusa subsea cables. The data center also has connections to Exa and Axent's networks across Europe and North America.

In February DCD reported that Meta had become the main customer for the three Merlin data centers in Spain.

Merlin first announced plans to move into the data center space in 2021. The company is working with Edged Energy, the new data center venture from Aligned founder Jakob Carnemark.