Dallas’ CyrusOne Announces Joint Venture for $7 Billion Project in Japan

In addition to forming CyrusOne KEP, the Japan joint venture with Kansai Electric Power Co., CyrusOne also announced that Chief Financial Officer Katherine Motlagh will step down from that role effective June 1, and that Michael Schafer, its senior vice president, finance, will assume the role of interim CFO.

Dallas-based global data center developer CyrusOne and Kansai Electric Power Co. Inc., a major Japan-based electric utility and power provider have announced a joint venture called CyrusOne KEP.

Kansai Electric also operates telecommunications and real estate development businesses.

CyrusOne’s President and CEO, Eric Schwartz, said the partnership unites expertise in data center operations and power management, providing “a unique opportunity to simultaneously optimize digital and power infrastructure.”

CyrusOne KEP brings together two companies with extensive technical and operational expertise to develop new datacenters to meet the mission-critical requirements of hyperscale platform companies, CyrusOne said.

In a statement, Schwartz emphasized the significance of KEPCO’s involvement as one of Japan’s leading utility providers, bringing extensive local expertise to the table. Combining the company’s knowledge and established relationships with CyrusOne’s proficiency in designing, developing, and commercially operating data centers, the partnership is poised to serve customers with ambitious growth aspirations across the globe, he says. 

The companies said that via the collaboration, data center infrastructure will be better aligned with the broader power grid to drive resilience, efficiency, and smart development.

Growing data center market in Japan

The businesses established a joint venture with equal investments by both companies, leveraging the strengths of both companies to undertake the hyperscale data center development and operation business in Japan.

CyrusOne KEP plans to invest at least 1 trillion yen (more than $7 billion) over the next decade and reach a business scale of 900 MW.

“CyrusOne is a global leader in hyperscale data centers in terms of both scale and growth. KEPCO and CyrusOne are optimal partners due to their deep understanding of power and utility operations, and their cultural and organizational flexibility,” Nozomu Mori, president and CEO of KEPCO, said in a statement.

Mori acknowledged the ongoing growth of the hyperscale data center market in Japan, driven by the surge in data traffic resulting from the expanding landscape of digital technology products and services. Mori highlighted the positive impact of these advancements on productivity, entertainment, and security.

“With the joint venture, the KEPCO Group aims to provide world-best quality service to the cloud companies and technology organizations in Japan,” Mori said.

CyrusOne and KEPCO said they intend to build in the Kansai area and other major markets across Japan and that construction on the first project should begin in the near future in Kansai.

CyrusOne seeking new CFO

CyrusOne also announced that Chief Financial Officer Katherine Motlagh will step down from that role effective June 1, and that Michael Schafer, its senior vice president, finance, will assume the role of interim CFO upon her departure.

“On behalf of the entire CyrusOne team, I would like to thank Katherine Motlagh for her leadership and many contributions to our company, including helping the company navigate the pandemic, her role in the historic take-private, and navigating the current challenges of the capital markets. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors,” Schwartz said. “We are fortunate to have a bench of talented leaders at CyrusOne. Michael Schafer, who joined the company in 2013, will bring his steady leadership and deep knowledge of our company to the CFO role, supporting our continued execution as we conduct a search for our next CFO.”

Schaffer has nearly three decades of progressive experience in corporate finance and currently leads CyrusOne’s investor reporting, FP&A, and treasury functions, as well as being a key member of the company’s capital markets team.

CyrusOne said it has begun an internal and external search to identify a permanent CFO.

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