Synergy thinks that this is all down to service providers dumping facilities in favour of public cloud and co-location agreements.
It claimed that there was at least one “significant” deal secured every week last year, with datacentre giants Equinix and Digital Realty among those splashing the most cash.
John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy, said the datacentre M&A activity was being driven by enterprises focusing more on improving IT capabilities and less on owning datacentre assets.
“That shift is driving huge growth in outsourcing, whether it is via cloud services, use of colocation facilities, or sale and leaseback of datacentres.
“The dramatic growth of cloud providers is also driving changes in the data centre industry, as data centre operators strive to help them rapidly increasing in scale and global footprint. We expect to see much more datacentre M&A over the next five years.”
On top of the $20 billion that changed hands last year, four deals worth a combined $2.6 billion have been confirmed but not yet completed.
The mass sales marked the reversal of a trend from five years ago when integrators and telcos were pouring investments into their facilities.