Digital Infrastructure

Advising across the data centre, fibre and 5G network deployment, towers, cloud solutions, edge computing and more.

The digital infrastructure sector continues to attract record levels of investment with cutting-edge technologies driving demand and innovation and, with that, ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny.

A combination of our leading tech and digital, M&A, financing, real estate, construction, infrastructure and energy, commercial contracting, antitrust and digital regulation practices allow us to provide full-service advice across the sector, including in relation to data centres, towers, cloud solutions, edge computing, fibre and 5G network deployment, expansion and sharing, small cells and WIFI solutions and active/passive RAN roll-outs.

We regularly advise on:

  • M&A and joint ventures across the digital infrastructure sector
  • Strategic third party investment and operational partnerships
  • Financing of digital infrastructure throughout the lifecycle, from greenfield sites through construction phases to fully developed assets
  • Release of capital from physical infrastructure sites through “TowerCo”, “NetCo” and “PropCo” and Sale & Leaseback-style transactions
  • Network sharing arrangements
  • Leasing arrangements for data centres (hyperscaler and retail) and towers
  • Key commercial contracting arrangements, including customer contracts, connectivity, power purchase, long-term and transitional servicing and facility management 
  • Construction of digital infrastructure assets, including all aspects of real estate acquisition, planning and permitting, construction and power sourcing
  • European-wide digital regulation impacting the digital infrastructure sector

Key Experience

Vodafone on various digital infrastructure projects

We have advised Vodafone on various digital infrastructure projects including transactions, partnerships and commercial contract matters such as:

  • various M&A transactions including the proposed merger of 3UK and Vodafone UK, the acquisition of Liberty Global’s business in Germany and CEE, the sale of Vodafone Hungary, the proposed disposal of Vodafone Spain, the proposed acquisition of Nowo in Portugal and the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular
  • its UK network-sharing arrangements with O2 to share 5G active equipment, such as radio antennas, on joint network sites across the UK
  • its strategic partnership with CityFibre, leading to Vodafone becoming Britain’s largest full fibre broadband provider
  • the commercialisation of Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure, the 50:50 owned joint venture company with Telefonica which owns and manages Vodafone UK and TEF UK’s passive tower infrastructure
  • the merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers to create a pan-Indian tower company
Equinix on various infrastructure transactions across Europe and Africa

We advised Equinix on various transactions including the related wholesale and retail leasing models, managed services, transitional services, brand licensing and connectivity arrangements, including:

  • its expansion into Africa through the acquisition of MainOne
  • the £2.35 billion takeover of Telecity Group
  • the sale of eight data centres across Europe to Digital Realty
  • the acquisition of Zenium’s data centre business in Istanbul
  • the purchase from IO of a UK operating data centre business
  • the acquisition of a data centre in Paris
  • various real estate acquisitions
American Tower Corporation on the acquisition of 5,500 communications sites across five African markets

We advised American Tower Corporation specifically as part of the acquisition of Eaton Towers, which owns and operates approximately 5,500 communications sites across five African markets.  As a result of the transaction, American Tower also expects to accelerate its new build activity across the region due to expanded relationships with multiple key tenants. The total consideration for the transaction, including the assumption of existing Eaton Towers debt, is approximately USD1.85 billion, subject to customary closing adjustments.

A USD2 billion+ data centre fund in acquisitions across various European countries

We advised a data centre fund in acquisitions across various European countries, including Switzerland, the Nordics, Germany and France.

L&G Capital on its investment in the Kao Data Centre campus

We advised L&G Capital on its investment in the Kao Data Centre campus. Kao serves hyperscalers and enterprise customers across the largest data centre market and technology cluster in Europe.

UK Infrastructure Bank in supporting the roll out of full fibre broadband to 8 million homes

We advised UKIB as cornerstone lender to CityFibre’s £4.9 billion financing programme to support the roll out of full fibre broadband to 8 million UK homes.

Newlight Partners in the sale of full fibre optic technology provider

We advised Newlight Partners on the sale of its controlling interest in Hyperoptic, a leader in ‘full’ fibre optic technology, to funds managed by KKR.

The Infrastructure and Ports Authority to establish the UK’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund

We advised The Infrastructure and Ports Authority to establish the UK’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund which aims to mobilise over £1 billion of investment in full fibre broadband.

Key contacts