CBRE Expands Data Center Capabilities, Acquires Direct Line Global

DateJun 19, 2024

Global commercial real estate services company CBRE Group has announced a significant expansion of its capabilities in the data center industry through the acquisition of Direct Line Global. This strategic move is set to enhance CBRE’s offerings and position in the rapidly growing data center market, providing comprehensive solutions to technology companies worldwide.

CBRE’s acquisition of Direct Line Global, a key player in mission-critical data center infrastructure, was facilitated by private equity firm Guardian Capital. Although the financial specifics of the transaction remain undisclosed, the strategic importance of this acquisition is clear. It would align with CBRE’s broader strategy to enhance its asset classes that benefit from the ongoing digitization of the global economy. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Established in 1997, Direct Line Global has built a strong reputation for its expertise in the design, installation, maintenance, and management of data center infrastructure. The company serves the hyperscale market, data center colocation, and enterprise segments, offering a wide range of technical services, including server support infrastructure. This acquisition would allow CBRE to leverage Direct Line Global’s specialized skills to strengthen its data center management capabilities.

Data Center Management Capabilities

The global market for data center support services is currently valued at approximately $30 billion, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 16% through 2028. This robust growth trajectory would underscore the strategic timing of CBRE’s acquisition, positioning the company to capitalize on the expanding demand for data center solutions.

Vikram Kohli, Chief Operating Officer of CBRE, highlighted the strategic alignment of this acquisition with CBRE’s existing operations. He stated, “This acquisition perfectly complements our existing data center management capabilities,” emphasizing the enhanced service offerings that will result from integrating Direct Line Global’s technical expertise with CBRE’s existing facilities management services.

The synergy between CBRE and Direct Line Global would promise a unique offering in the market. While CBRE has traditionally focused on facilities management services, Direct Line Global brings specialized technical solutions to the table. According to CBRE, this combination enables them to deliver integrated data center solutions that stand out from those provided by other service providers

Bill Nelligan, CEO of Direct Line Global, expressed his enthusiasm about joining forces with CBRE. He noted the significant advantages of operating within CBRE’s extensive global platform, which will facilitate the expansion and enhancement of Direct Line Global’s services. Headquartered in Fremont, California, Direct Line Global employs over 1,000 people and has significant operations in key data center markets such as northern Virginia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, and South Korea.

CBRE’s Data Centers Solutions Business

Following the acquisition, Direct Line Global will operate as part of CBRE’s Data Centers Solutions business within the Global Workplace Solutions segment. This integration is expected to bolster CBRE’s capabilities in delivering comprehensive, end-to-end data center solutions to clients across the globe.

This acquisition would not only enhance CBRE’s technical capabilities but also position the company to better serve the evolving needs of the technology sector. As the demand for data centers continues to rise, driven by increasing digital transformation across industries, CBRE’s strengthened position in the market would reinforce its leadership in the commercial real estate and data center services sectors.

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