NTT buys Germany’s biggest data center provider for $840 million

Japan’s NTT Group is buying a majority stake in Germany’s biggest provider of data center services, the latest sign of convergence in a competitive European market.

NTT will pay more than $840 million in cash for control of Germany’s e-shelter, which manages nearly 90,000 square meters of data center space in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the companies announced Monday.

Companies like e-shelter provide power and cooling services in high-tech warehouses where other companies can set up compute gear. It saves them the cost of building and managing their own data centers.

The market for such collocation services is growing about 10 percent a year in Europe, helped by trends in big data, cloud services, outsourcing and video/social networking, Synergy Research Group said last month.

The acquisition will make NTT the third-largest data center operator in Europe, it said, behind U.S.-based Equinix and the U.K.’s TelecityGroup, which announced last month it was buying Dutch rival Interxion in a multi-billion dollar deal.

It’s NTT’s fifth data center acquisition in three years, and was done through its NTT Communications business.