Myanmar conglomerate Dagon International Limited has acquired a 14 percent stake in a data center being built by regional telecoms company Burst Networks

The project aims to be the country’s first Uptime-certified Tier IV data center, and is located in the Thilawa Special Economic Zone (SEZ), a $3.28 billion development project in the Yangon region.

A burst of activity

Sule pagoda in central Yangon, Myanmar
Sule pagoda in central Yangon, Myanmar – Thinkstock / Kasto80

The investment was actually made about eight months ago, but has only just been made public, with the company confirming the transaction to Deal Street Asia.

Thurane Aung, CEO of Dagon International, told the publication: “We are interested to invest in companies (including tech-based firms) that could create synergies to our main business.”

While Aung declined to disclose any specific financial figures, but last year Burst secured approval to invest $8 million in the site. Some of the costs of the facility were picked up by existing investor Campana.

The data center, which is currently Tier IV Design Certified, will consist of three Flexenclosure eCentre modules, pre-built in Sweden. Earlier this year, 1-Net Singapore announced that it would help provide operational support and design expertise.

At the time, Wong Ka Vin, managing director of 1-Net Singapore, said: “We are glad to work with Burst Networks to support their data center operations in Myanmar. It is 1-Net’s inaugural collaboration in Myanmar and we see the immense potential for data center business in this emerging marke

“We are confident that we can support Burst Networks to operate this facility with our extensive years of experience in data center operations.”

About Dagon

Dagon International has interests in various markets, including construction, timber extraction, agriculture and import-export, but has faced international scrutiny over its close ties to Myanmar’s military.

In 2009, Thurane Aung’s father, Dagon Win Aung - who cofounded the company with Myanmar Army captain Win Thein - was placed on the US sactions list, with American citizens blocked from doing business with him.

Confidential US diplomatic cables published by Wikileaks said in 2007: “Win Aung, owner of Dagon International Construction Company and Dagon Timber Ltd., and his family continue to use their close connections with the Burmese regime to amass great wealth.

“Although Dagon International specializes in the construction of luxury housing projects, it won contracts to build roads and government dormitories in Nay Pyi Taw.”