Blackstone said to be in talks to take control of Winthrop Technologies

US private equity giant seeks controlling stake in Irish firm

US private equity giant Blackstone Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in Irish data centre business Winthrop Technologies in a deal that could value the company at more than €800 million, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Such a deal would mean Blackstone taking over what has become one of the biggest construction firms focused on the data centre sector in Europe. Winthrop has a portfolio of data centre projects stretching from Dublin to Warsaw, as well as Amsterdam and Munich, among other locations.

A Blackstone spokeswoman declined to comment. Messages left by The Irish Times with Winthrop outside of regular working hours were not immediately returned.

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Blackstone’s bid for Winthrop was first reported by Sky News.


Pretax profits at Winthrop increased almost sixfold to €86.17 million this year, The Irish Times reported in September. Consolidated accounts for the Dublin-headquartered business showed the business achieved the sharp increase in profits in the year to April 2023 as revenues topped €1 billion for the first time, surging 55 per cent.

Winthrop is controlled by founder and majority shareholder Barry English. The business is led by chief executive and shareholder Anne Dooley.

Pay to the firm’s six directors almost doubled from €609,794 to €1.15 million, made up of emoluments of €991,838 and pension contributions of €167,593.

This would not be the first time Winthrop has at least explored a sale in recent years. It reportedly hired Rothschild to advise on a possible sale in 2022 and had previously retained PwC on a possible sale process before instead choosing to pursue an equity release.

While data centres have become controversial in Ireland in recent years given their electricity consumption — the International Energy Agency estimates they will consume about a third of the State’s total electricity by 2026 — they have proved a lucrative investment as tech giants including Amazon and Meta spend heavily to increase their infrastructure, while the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) increases demand for huge computing power.

This is not Blackstone’s first foray into the data centre sector. In December it announced a $7 billion (€6.5 billion) joint venture with Digital Realty in the US, “to develop four hyperscale data center campuses,” while two years earlier it spent $10 billion on another data centre business, QTS Realty Trust.

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan is an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times