June 22, 2021
This is a big week for Analyst Days – with DigitalBridge on June 22nd (the day of its official rebranding) and Equinix (EQIX) on June 23rd. Both will be important days for each as they both represent companies in significant transition right now.
For EQIX, this will be the first analyst day in three years and a lot of eyes will be watching. As they do at all their analyst meetings (that typically occur every other year – COVID put a curveball in this schedule), EQIX is expected to put out longer term guidance (both revenue and AFFO / share growth). In these past three years much has changed: Digital Realty (through the purchase of Interxion) has more than beefed up its interconnection capabilities and assets; QTS will be going private backed by the deep pocketed Blackstone; and EQIX itself has transformed its own stripes bringing in much more hyperscale capabilities through xScale and an edge play through the purchase of Packet.
And – true to form – EQIX is not sitting still during this period of transition. On June 14th, GIC and EQIX added another $3.9B to expand the xScale Data Center Program. The xScale portfolio of 32 facilities will provide more than 600 megawatts (MW) of capacity once fully built out. In a recent Forbes article, EQIX’s CTO, Milind Wagle, was quoted as saying that Equinix is the “engine room of the digital economy.” We agree completely. But the question becomes are their customers looking with a careful eye closely at the interworkings of the engine room and does that engine room still have a thick moat around it as it did three years back?
For DigitalBridge (formerly known as Colony Capital as of Tuesday), we almost think of June 22nd as their coming out party in many ways. Following its recent OED sale, DigitalBridge’s assets are now 80 percent in the digital infrastructure space. The only non-digital assets are Wellness Infrastructure and its public stake in CLNC. DigitalBridge has a significant opportunity which few in the space has right now. Why? Because Ganzi and team have their hands in more parts of the digital infrastructure space than anyone. These include (but are not limited to): small cell (ExteNet); fiber (ZAYO); data centers (Vantage and DataBank); land under the towers (Landmark); and towers (Vertical Bridge). Importantly, the reach of some of these assets are not only US based.
If DigitalBridge can find a way to communicate how all these ‘children’ can play together in the 5G infrastructure ‘sandbox’, that will be a message unique to DigitalBridge, given that others lack this breath and depth of asset mix. Our guess is if any one can communicate that message it is Marc Ganzi! We will be watching!