Miami tech pioneer Manny Medina’s vision for a new multinational data center and cybersecurity company is now reality: Cyxtera Technologies is open for business.
Medina Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm led by Medina, and global private equity firm BC Partners announced in November they planned to form the new venture, combining a worldwide network of 57 CenturyLink data centers with four cybersecurity and data analytics portfolio companies from Medina Capital. On Tuesday, six months later, the firms announced the deal is done.
With the $2.8 billion transaction now complete, the new company begins operations immediately, said Medina, in a phone interview Monday. Medina will be CEO of Cyxtera – “Cy for cyber, X for exchanges or internet exchanges, and tera for the world that we are going to conquer,” Medina said.
The company will be headquartered in Coral Gables and will immediately be global. It will have 1,100 employees around the world, about 700 of them transitioning from CenturyLink, serving more than 3,500 customers. Cyxtera will have major security and analytics operations in Boston, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Bogotá, Gothenburg, Sweden, and London, the company said.
The time has come for innovation in how companies protect themselves, said Medina, who is founder and managing partner of Medina Capital and founder and former CEO of Terremark Worldwide. “We have had incredible advances in enterprise IT overall – the cloud, scalability, agility. But security has lagged behind and this is why you have those issues – the firewall was invented in 1988, the vpn was invented in 1996. What we are doing is creating a next-generation company that looks at security in a completely different way and protects the entire infrastructure.”
In Cyxtera, Medina will be joined by his team from Medina Capital, including former senior leaders of Terremark, the data center and infrastructure services company acquired by Verizon in 2011 in a $2 billion transaction. Cyxtera’s executive team will also include leaders from the acquired businesses and veterans from the enterprise infrastructure and cybersecurity sectors.
“It’s been a lot of fun, like the Blues Brothers, let’s put the band back together,” said Medina, reflecting on the last six months. “We also have several new members and the leadership of all the companies coming together. It will be a great team.”
Nelson Fonseca, former COO of Terremark, will be chief operating officer of Cyxtera Technologies. Barry Field, who ran sales for Terremark and Verizon, will be chief revenue officer. The leadership team also includes Leo Taddeo, formerly the Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations/Cyber Division of the FBI’s New York Office, who will be the company’s chief information security officer.
Along with the global footprint of 57 CenturyLink data centers around the world, Cyxtera will also provide a portfolio of cybersecurity services from four former Medina Capital companies – Cryptzone and Catbird, with software for infrastructure protection, fraud-fighting company Easy Solutions based in Doral, and Brainspace, a data analytics software company – unified under one platform. CenturyLink will be a minority investor in Cyxtera.
Fonseca said the strategy of combining products for a much more robust solution was similar to what they did at Terremark but will be much more disruptive.
“After Verizon acquired Terremark and we started Medina Capital, we were looking for investments in very disruptive cybersecruity technology ... What’s exciting now is that we are the ones going to be doing the disruption,” said Fonseca, who joined Terremark in 2001 running the sales team and ended his run as COO and then stayed on as president for Verizon through the transition before joining Medina Capital. “It’s very exciting times.”
About 100 to 125 employees will be based in the Miami area the first year, and local employment is expected to grow significantly after that, Medina said.
“It’s a very big deal to have a multinational, multibillion-dollar technology company focused on cybersecurity headquartered in Miami,” said Medina, who founded the eMerge Americas technology conference four years ago to help promote Miami as a technology hub. “It is going to help put us on the worldwide map – it will augment significantly the whole ecosystem we are trying to nurture.”
Nancy Dahlberg: 305-376-3595, @ndahlberg