Trading information for KKR & Co is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Nov 15 (Reuters) – KKR & Co Inc (KKR.N) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) will take U.S. data center operator CyrusOne Inc (CONE.O) private for $11.49 billion in cash, the latest deal in a sector that has boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus-driven shift to remote work has increased the usage of cloud-based services, driving up demand for data centers that help power the digital infrastructure.

KKR and GIP will pay $90.50 for each CyrusOne share as per the deal announced on Monday, representing a 5.9% premium to the company’s last closing price. CyrusOne shares rose 3.6%.

The buyout values the Dallas-based company, which has more than 50 data centers globally, at about $15 billion including debt.

In a similar move, real estate investment trust American Tower (AMT.N) agreed to buy CyrusOne’s rival CoreSite Realty Corp (COR.N) for $7.5 billion. read more

Infrastructure and real estate funds have also scooped up data center assets in recent months to capitalize on the demand surge.

In June, Blackstone Funds (BX.N)agreed to purchase QTS Realty Trust Inc for $10 billion to gain access to the company’s more than 7 million square feet of data center space throughout North America and Europe .

Denver-based CoreSite, the operator of 24 data centers in the United States, was 2.1% higher in premarket trading.

Reuters had first reported CoreSite was fielding acquisition interests last week, and in September had reported that CyrusOne was working with investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N) to explore strategic alternatives. read more

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