The global demand for data is growing exponentially, and the data center industry is one of the biggest beneficiaries. And while the big players like Equinix (EQIX 0.76%) and Digital Realty Trust (DLR -0.77%) are excellent businesses, one of our experts recently bought a more up-and-coming player.
In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Sept. 15, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, discusses why he invested in Cyxtera Technologies (CYXT -1.49%) both before and after its recent merger with Starboard Value's special purpose acquisition company.
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Matt Frankel: I want to talk about one that recently went public via SPAC because it's 2021, why not, called Cyxtera, ticker symbol CYXT. This company went public not just through any SPAC, but through a SPAC sponsored by Starboard Value, arguably the best, the most successful activist investor of all time. If you're not familiar with the company, you are probably familiar with where it came from. How many, just show of hands, who's heard of CenturyLink? This came from a spin out of CenturyLink's data center business. This was a private company.
They are the number three data center operator in the country. The top-two we've talked about many times on our shows, Equinix and Digital Realty. Digital Realty is one of my favorites that I own in my own portfolio. Those two are real estate investment trusts, Cyxtera isn't. They operate over 60 data centers, but they only own two of them. It's a more asset-light business model, not focused on the real estate portion of it. They got a ton of capital in the SPAC IPO. They're planning to really take advantage of the positive trends in data centers. Like everyone else, I'm also going to share my screen because I don't want to feel left out here.
Look at some of these trends. This is why the market for data centers is still in the early stages and there is room for a ton of winners. Look at some of these graphs. Companies in 2019 outsourced about 29% of their need for data centers. That's projected to go up to 49% of their data center need by 2024. Data usage, global IP traffic is growing at a 25% annualized rate. That is a huge growth rate and that doesn't even take into account the 5G rollout, which is really going to enable more sophisticated volumes of data. Lots of catalysts for the data center space. I like their asset-light business model. As I mentioned, They don't own a ton of real estate, profitable company.
The vast majority, well over 95% of their revenue is recurring. They essentially use a landlord-tenant model without owning their properties. I think a subleasing model. A great business, profitable business, a lot of value here. They traded a much lower multiple to either of the other data center operators that I mentioned. This is one that I'm really encouraged by. I'm a value investor at heart and if you're going to play the SPAC game, why not do it with Starboard Value, which is probably the best value investor to sponsor a SPAC.