GDS Holdings, GIC form strategic partnership
GDS Holdings announced that it has signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, to develop and operate hyperscale build-to-suit data centers outside of Tier 1 cities in China. GDS and GIC will focus initially on a BTS data center program for a leading internet and cloud service provider, which is a strategic customer of GDS. In parallel with the Agreement, GDS has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Customer for multiple BTS data centers at several of its campuses serving different regions of China. Under the terms of the Agreement with GIC, GDS will enter into contractual commitments with the Customer for BTS data centers. GDS will set up individual project companies to undertake the development of each data center and own 100% during the construction phase. Upon completion of each data center, GDS will sell a 90% equity interest in the project company to GIC at development plus financing cost, subject to certain conditions. GDS will continue to hold the remaining 10% equity interest of the project company and provide management and operating services to the joint venture. GDS will earn a return over the life of the project from its equity investment plus recurring service fees. The first project covered by the Agreement, a data center under construction by GDS at the Customer's campus in Jiangsu province, is nearly complete and a 90% equity interest in the relevant project company will be offered to GIC shortly. GDS has previously completed 3 build-to-suit data centers for the Customer at its campus in Hebei province, which will remain outside of the GIC partnership.