The Abraaj Group has sold its stake in Unitrio Technology Ltd. The buyer was NTT Facilities, a member of the Japanese Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation. Financial terms were not announced,. Unitrio, of Thailand, designs and builds data centers.
The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in growth markets, today announced the successful exit of its investment in Thailand-based Unitrio Technology Limited (Unitrio). The Group sold its stake in Unitrio to NTT Facilities (NTTF), a member of the Japanese Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), which provides comprehensive engineering services for data centers, telecommunications, commercial buildings and related facilities.
Abraaj, through its first South East Asia Fund, acquired its stake in Unitrio in 2010. The investment in Unitrio was predicated on the increasing demand within Thailand for high quality data centers due to rapidly growing internet penetration rates, the proliferation of mobile and other devices, increasing virtualization of IT infrastructure, and the adoption of cloud computing in the public and private sectors, factors that are leading to substantially greater requirements for data hosting and storage capacity across the country.
While the ICT sector has developed significantly over the past two years, substantial growth remains with internet penetration in Thailand currently at 30%, which is substantially below penetration rates of greater than 70% in more developed markets. Recent floods in Thailand have also shown the need for additional back-up facilities across the country with domestic service providers seeking to expand and diversify their offerings. Within an ASEAN context, the growth expected in Thailand is second only to Indonesia, with the amount of data center space expected to almost double and data center revenues expected to grow by over three times by 2015.
Founded in 1980, Unitrio started as a distributor of UPS systems and subsequently a distributor of data center and telecommunications equipment. Foreseeing the growth trends in data hosting and storage, the company sought to move into the data center space. Abraaj’s investment in Unitrio helped facilitate the transformation of the company into a turnkey designer and builder of data center facilities. Today, the company has a broad base of institutional customers within the public and private sector, across the telecommunications, banking, industrial and education sectors.
Commenting on the exit, Srisant Chitvaranund, Managing Director, The Abraaj Group, said: “Our investment in Unitro was well timed as we capitalized on rapid growth in the domestic ICT market. In Unitrio, we were able to find the right partners who had a vision for their company and we helped them execute an extremely successful strategy and business plan. We believe that NTTF, given their strategic interests in the sector, is the right partner for Unitrio going forward and will enable the company to achieve their next level of growth”.
Metee Anivat, Chief Executive Officer of Unitrio added, “Abraaj’s investment in Unitrio helped transform the company from what was a Thai family business into a leading designer and builder of data centers. Abraaj assisted us with enhancing our strategic planning, corporate governance and information systems, as well as improving our overall operational efficiency. We are now well positioned to leverage the numerous opportunities in the domestic market and look forward to our new partnership with NTTF”.
THE ABRAAJ GROUP
The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in the growth markets of Asia, MENA, Turkey and Central Asia, Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America. Employing over 300 people, the Group has 33 country offices spread across six regional hubs in Bogota, Dubai, Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore.
The Abraaj Group currently manages US$ 7.5 billion across 25 sector and country-specific Funds encompassing private equity (majority and significant minority investments with ticket sizes of between US$ 10 million to US$ 100 million) and real estate (primarily yield-generating) investments.
Funds managed by the Group have holdings in over 150 partner companies that create sustainable value in sectors including manufacturing, education, retail, aviation, oil and gas, financial payments infrastructure, healthcare and agribusiness. The Group’s current partner companies include industry leaders such as Network International, the largest independent payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, NEP Holding, with its Diamond brand and a market leader in the residential filtration market of Malaysia with a growing presence in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Southern China, Brookside Dairy, the largest dairy in East Africa and, Iasacorp, a long established family run women’s retail business in Peru.
The Abraaj Group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact.