Microsoft has acquired more land in Johor, Malaysia, for data center development.

Malaysian real estate firm EcoWorld this week announced it had sold land to a local subsidiary of the cloud giant.

Microsoft Azure
– Sebastian Moss

EcoWorld said its Eco Business Park 6 Sdn Bhd subsidiary last week entered into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Microsoft Payments (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd for the sale of 123 acres located in Kulai, Iskandar.

The undeveloped plot is located within the Eco Business Park VI in Senai, Kulai District, north of Johor. The land was acquired for RM402.3 million ($85.2m).

EcoWorld notes in the announcement the buyer is planning the development of data centers on the site.

The local Microsoft unit – which is "principally involved in the provision of data center services" – is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited, a known subsidiary of Microsoft. The unit’s directors include several Microsoft staff.

Eco Business Park VI totals more than 400 acres in total. EcoWorld said its landbank totals more than 1060 acres, mostly in the Iskandar region around Johor.

The sale marks the first transaction for EBP VI, less than six months since EcoWorld Malaysia completed the acquisition of the land on 18 January 2024. EcoWorld noted the proceeds would go towards the company's cash reserves for new landbank acquisitions the group is actively pursuing.

“The group believes that the presence of an internationally recognized technology leader choosing to set up a sizeable data center here will further drive demand for EBP VI’s other industrial products,” EcoWorld said.

Last month Microsoft committed to investing $2.2 billion in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) services in Malaysia over the next four years.

Microsoft announced plans for a Malaysian Azure cloud region in Kuala Lumpur back in 2021; the region is still listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.

The company acquired a 1.1 million sq ft (102,560 sqm) plot of land in the Pulai area of Johor from local property development firm Crescendo Corporation Berhad in April.

Johor, located in Malaysia’s south, is just across the border from Singapore. Though Singapore is starting to ease restrictions around its ongoing moratorium on new data center developments, Johor has grown a sizeable data center market of its own as developments overspill from the city-state.

Other developers and operators in Johor include PDG, AirTrunk, Equinix, Keppel, ChinData's Bridge DC, and Yondr, amongst others.

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