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Africa's largest data center firm plans $73M investment

(Bloomberg) -- Teraco Data Environments Pty Ltd. plans to invest about 1 billion rand ($73 million) as Africa’s largest data-center operator expands infrastructure to meet rising demand.

The closely-held business will have spent 4.5 billion rand on building data-services centers in South Africa when the current investment cycle ends in 2019, Chief Financial Officer Jan Hnizdo said in an interview Tuesday. Funding has come from a debt facility provided by Barclays Africa Group Ltd., also known as Absa, which is lending as much as 1.8 billion rand.

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Light trails from network switches illuminate fiber optic cables, center, and copper Ethernet cables inside a communications room at an office in London, U.K., on Monday, May 21, 2018. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport will work with the Home Office to publish a white paper later this year setting out legislation, according to a statement, which will also seek to force tech giants to reveal how they target abusive and illegal online material posted by users. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Teraco is investing to meet higher demand for data services in Africa as internet access improves and businesses adopt cloud-based technology. Internet giants such as Netflix Inc. and Facebook Inc. are seeking to reach more remote parts of the continent, while Amazon.com Inc.’s Web Services and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure need data storage.

Teraco’s operations in Johannesburg are used by more than 200 African telecommunications providers and are able to provide 12,000 interconnections.