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OPIC Board Approves $150 Million for Data Centers Project in Russia


Wednesday, October 06, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Potentially millions of ordinary Muscovites will be able to withdraw money from ATMs, make Internet purchases and buy stocks online with greater confidence in the reliability of their computer service, following approval by the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of $150 million in financing for the construction of new data centers in Moscow.

DataSpace Partners (DSP) will use the OPIC loan to build or convert light industrial sites in Moscow to data centers, which house computer systems and associated components such as telecommunications and storage systems. The project will result in the addition of 60 new local jobs, the vast majority of which will receive formal training, as well as significant procurement from local businesses.

Data centers are the cornerstone of the modern information infrastructure, providing critical computing resources and access to data for company’s users, business partners and customer base. Banks, stock exchanges, insurance companies, pension funds – to name only a few examples – all depend on reliable and secure servers to conduct their online business with a minimum of down time.

By modernizing Russia’s outdated IT infrastructure and stimulating the sale of products and services of U.S. technology firms to Russian end-users, the project will both support innovation in Russia’s economy and stimulate U.S. exports. 

At present, the Moscow IT market is highly underserved and lacks certified, reliable third-party data centers, relying instead on lower-quality facilities run by operators focused on telecommunication and IT services. The project will be one of the first in Moscow to offer professional data center services that deliver world-class reliability and efficiency. DataSpace expects financial institutions, insurance companies, large to small enterprises, space wholesalers and IT service providers to benefit from the project.

DSP is owned by two private equity investment funds, Russia Partners II and Russia Partners III, which are in turn managed by U.S. businesses, Russia Partners Management, LLC and Siguler Guff & Company, LP, a private equity investment firm based in New York. OPIC has previously provided a $70 million guaranty to Russia Partners II. 

“This project will result in a significant upgrade of Moscow’s information infrastructure, which in turn will generate other valuable economic and developmental benefits,” said OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield. “We at OPIC are pleased to work again with Russia Partners and Siguler Guff on a project with such innovative impact.”
 
“Our investment in DSP is not only good business, it supports the policy goals of both the Russian and U.S. governments to help build Russia’s innovation economy,” said Drew Guff, Managing Director and Founding Partner of Siguler Guff.