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UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

Annual Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023

Transition Report Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

For the Transition Period From                     to                     .

Commission file number

     

001-32336 (Digital Realty Trust, Inc.)

000-54023 (Digital Realty Trust, L.P.)

DIGITAL REALTY TRUST, INC.

DIGITAL REALTY TRUST, L.P.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Maryland (Digital Realty Trust, Inc.)

Maryland (Digital Realty Trust, L.P.)

26-0081711

20-2402955

(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

(IRS employer identification number)

5707 Southwest Parkway, Building 1, Suite 275

Austin, Texas

78735

(Address of principal executive offices)

(Zip Code)

(737) 281-0101

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

    

Title of each class

Trading Symbols(s)

    

Name of each exchange on which registered

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share

DLR

New York Stock Exchange

Series J Cumulative Redeemable Preferred
Stock
, $0.01 par value per share

DLR Pr J

New York Stock Exchange

Series K Cumulative Redeemable Preferred
Stock
, $0.01 par value per share

DLR Pr K

New York Stock Exchange

Series L Cumulative Redeemable Preferred
Stock
, $0.01 par value per share

DLR Pr L

New York Stock Exchange

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

None

None

None

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

None

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Common Units of Partnership Interest

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Yes     No  

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Yes     No  

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Yes     No   

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Yes     No   

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Yes     No  

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Yes     No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Yes     No  

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Yes     No  

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.:

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.:

Large accelerated filer

Accelerated filer

Non-accelerated filer

Smaller reporting company

Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b).

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.

Yes     No   

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Yes     No   

The aggregate market value of the common equity held by non-affiliates of Digital Realty Trust, Inc. as of June 30, 2023 totaled approximately $34 billion based on the closing price for Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s common stock on that day as reported by the New York Stock Exchange. Such value excludes common stock held by executive officers, directors and 10% or greater stockholders as of June 30, 2023. The identification of 10% or greater stockholders as of June 30, 2023 is based on Schedule 13G and amended Schedule 13G reports publicly filed before June 30, 2023. This calculation does not reflect a determination that such parties are affiliates for any other purposes.

There is no public trading market for the common units of Digital Realty Trust, L.P. As a result, the aggregate market value of the common units held by non-affiliates of Digital Realty Trust, L.P. cannot be determined.

Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the registrant’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc.:

Class

    

Outstanding at February 21, 2024

Common Stock, $.01 par value per share

312,293,563

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Part III incorporates by reference portions of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s Proxy Statement for its 2024 Annual Meeting of Stockholders which the registrants anticipate will be filed no later than 120 days after the end of their fiscal year pursuant to Regulation 14A.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This report combines the annual reports on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2023 of Digital Realty Trust, Inc., a Maryland corporation, and Digital Realty Trust, L.P., a Maryland limited partnership, of which Digital Realty Trust, Inc. is the sole general partner. Unless otherwise indicated or unless the context requires otherwise, all references in this report to “we,” “us,” “our,” “our Company”, or “the Company” refer to Digital Realty Trust, Inc. together with its consolidated subsidiaries, including Digital Realty Trust, L.P. In statements regarding qualification as a REIT, such terms refer solely to Digital Realty Trust, Inc. Unless otherwise, all references to the “Parent” refer to Digital Realty Trust, Inc., and all references to “our Operating Partnership,” “the Operating Partnership” or “the OP” refer to Digital Realty Trust, L.P. together with its consolidated subsidiaries.

The Parent is a real estate investment trust, or REIT, and the sole general partner of the OP. As of December 31, 2023, the Parent owned an approximate 98.0% common general partnership interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P. The remaining approximate 2.0% of the common limited partnership interests of Digital Realty Trust, L.P. are owned by non-affiliated third parties and certain directors and officers of the Parent. As of December 31, 2023, the Parent owned all of the preferred limited partnership interests of Digital Realty Trust, L.P. As the sole general partner of Digital Realty Trust, L.P., the Parent has the full, exclusive and complete responsibility for the OP’s day-to-day management and control.

We believe combining the annual reports on Form 10-K of the Parent and the OP into this single report results in the following benefits:

enhancing investors’ understanding of the Parent and the OP by enabling investors to view the business as a whole in the same manner as management views and operates the business;
eliminating duplicative disclosure and providing a more streamlined and readable presentation since a substantial portion of the disclosure applies to both the Parent and the OP; and
creating time and cost efficiencies through the preparation of one combined report instead of two separate reports.

It is important to understand the few differences between the Parent and the OP in the context of how we operate the Company. The Parent does not conduct business itself, other than acting as the sole general partner of the OP and issuing public equity from time to time and guaranteeing certain unsecured debt of the OP and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates. The OP holds substantially all the assets of the business, directly or indirectly. The OP conducts the operations of the business and is structured as a partnership with no publicly traded equity. Except for net proceeds from equity issuances by the Parent, which are generally contributed to the OP in exchange for partnership units, the OP generates capital required by the business through the OP’s operations, incurrence of indebtedness and issuance of partnership units to third parties.

The presentation of noncontrolling interests, stockholders’ equity and partners’ capital are the main areas of difference between the consolidated financial statements of the Parent and those of the OP. The differences in the presentations between stockholders’ equity and partners’ capital result from the differences in the equity and capital issuances in the Parent and in the OP.

To highlight the differences between the Parent and the OP, separate sections in this report, as applicable, individually discuss the Parent and the OP, including separate financial statements and separate Exhibit 31 and 32 certifications. In the sections that combine disclosure of the Parent and the OP, this report refers to actions or holdings as being actions or holdings of the Company.

As general partner with control of the OP, the Parent consolidates the OP for financial reporting purposes, and it does not have significant assets other than its investment in the OP. Therefore, the assets and liabilities of the Parent and the OP are the same on their respective consolidated financial statements. The separate discussions of the Parent and the OP in this report should be read in conjunction with each other to understand the results of the Company on a consolidated basis and how management operates the Company.

In this report, “properties” and “buildings” refer to all or any of the buildings in our portfolio, including data centers and non-data centers, and “data centers” refers only to the properties or buildings in our portfolio that contain data center space. In this report, “Global Revolving Credit Facility” refers to our Operating Partnership’s $3.75 billion senior

unsecured revolving credit facility and global senior credit agreement; “Yen Revolving Credit Facility” refers to our Operating Partnership’s ¥33,285,000,000 (approximately $236 million based on exchange rates at December 31, 2023) senior unsecured revolving credit facility and Yen credit agreement; and “Global Revolving Credit Facilities” refer to our Global Revolving Credit Facility and our Yen Revolving Credit Facility, collectively.

DIGITAL REALTY TRUST, INC. AND DIGITAL REALTY TRUST, L.P.

FORM 10-K

FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2023

TABLE OF CONTENTS

    

PAGE NO.

PART I.

1

ITEM 1.

Business

1

ITEM 1A.

Risk Factors

16

ITEM 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

48

ITEM 1C.

Cybersecurity

48

ITEM 2.

Properties

50

ITEM 3.

Legal Proceedings

54

ITEM 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

54

PART II.

54

ITEM 5.

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

54

ITEM 6.

Reserved

56

ITEM 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

57

ITEM 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

80

ITEM 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

81

ITEM 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

157

ITEM 9A.

Controls and Procedures

157

ITEM 9B.

Other Information

158

ITEM 9C.

Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions That Prevent Inspections

158

PART III.

159

ITEM 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

159

ITEM 11.

Executive Compensation

159

ITEM 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

159

ITEM 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions and Director Independence

159

ITEM 14.

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

159

PART IV.

160

ITEM 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

160

ITEM 16.

Form 10-K Summary

171

SIGNATURES

172

PART I

ITEM 1.     BUSINESS

The Company

Digital Realty Trust, Inc., through its controlling interest in Digital Realty Trust, L.P. and the subsidiaries of the Operating Partnership, is a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions for customers across a variety of industry verticals. The Parent operates as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes. The OP is the entity through which the Parent conducts its business of owning, acquiring, developing and operating data centers. The Parent was incorporated in the state of Maryland on March 9, 2004. The OP was organized as a limited partnership in the state of Maryland on July 21, 2004.

As of December 31, 2023, our portfolio consisted of 309 data centers (including 67 data centers held as investments in unconsolidated entities), of which 124 are located in the United States, 112 are located in Europe, 36 are located in Latin America, 14 are located in Africa, 14 are located in Asia, six are located in Australia and three are located in Canada.

Our principal executive offices are located at 5707 Southwest Parkway, Building 1, Suite 275, Austin, Texas 78735. Our telephone number is (737) 281-0101. Our website is www.digitalrealty.com. The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Recent Acquisitions

On August 1, 2022, we completed the acquisition of 61.1% indirect controlling interest in Teraco Data Environments (Pty) Ltd., (“Teraco”), a leading carrier-neutral data center and interconnection services provider in South Africa. The total purchase price was $1.7 billion cash, funded by our Global Revolving Credit Facility and partial settlement of our forward equity sale agreements. Teraco’s financial information is included in our consolidated financial statements and associated notes to those financial statements.

Industry Background

The digital economy continues to grow and change how enterprises across all industries create and deliver value. Companies increasingly need to operate ubiquitously, on-demand and with real-time intelligence serving customers, partners and employees across multiple channels, business functions and points of business presence. Computational processing power requirements continue to advance, data traffic is growing, and the volume of data that enterprises generate, transmit, process, analyze, monitor and manage is expanding dramatically. The Internet of Things, 5G, autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence, among other technological advancements, are driving this digital transformation.

We believe that enterprise data growth is accelerating due to the growing digital economy and emerging technological advances. As enterprises analyze and process this accelerating data mass, they create more data. As this mass of data continues to grow, it needs to be analyzed and processed: a task which we believe is becoming increasingly challenging to replicate and relocate. This phenomenon is called Data Gravity. We believe that enterprise decisionmakers will need to increasingly consider how Data Gravity impacts their enterprise IT architectures and, accordingly, we have developed the Data Gravity Index: a global forecast that measures the intensity and gravitational force of enterprise data growth.

1

As the largest global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, we believe the data center industry is poised for sustainable growth. The demand for data center infrastructure is being driven by this digital transformation which is contributing to the explosive growth of data, rapid growth of cloud adoption and greater demand for IT outsourcing. The power requirements and financial costs to support this growth in data, traffic and storage are substantial and growing accordingly. We believe data centers will continue to play a critical role in the digital economy and enabling business transformation strategies.

We believe cloud solutions and hybrid cloud solutions will remain significant drivers of demand for data center infrastructure. The hybrid cloud, which combines public and private cloud solutions, has gained traction because it enables corporate enterprises to achieve efficiencies and contain costs, as well as scale and secure their most sensitive information. In addition, the leading cloud service providers are generally mature, well-capitalized technology companies, and cloud platforms are among the fastest-growing business segments. Data center providers that can solve global coverage, capacity and connectivity needs, and coordinate and aggregate diverse customer and application demand, are poised to benefit from these cloud-specific industry drivers.

These diverse and secular industry dynamics are driving greater demand for data center capacity not only from global cloud service providers, but also from businesses across other industries, including IT service firms, social media, content providers and the financial services sector. As companies focus on their core competencies and rely on outsourcing to meet their IT infrastructure needs, they are prioritizing colocation for their data center solutions for various reasons, including to reduce latency in data transfer and increase global presence and connectivity. New technologies need a fast, reliable and flexible foundation to operate, and the importance of offering a full spectrum of power, space and connectivity solutions on a global platform continues to grow.

Our Business

We provide a global data center platform that supports our customers’ digital infrastructure and enables our customers to interconnect with their customers and partners. We solve global coverage, capacity and connectivity needs for companies of all sizes, including the world’s leading enterprises and services providers, through PlatformDIGITAL®, a global data center platform for scaling digital business which enables customers to deploy their critical infrastructure with a global data center provider.

PlatformDIGITAL® combines our global presence with our Pervasive Data Center Architecture (PDx®) solution methodology for scaling digital business and efficiently managing data gravity challenges. Our global data center footprint gives customers access to the connected data communities that matter to them with over 300 facilities in 54 metropolitan areas across 28 countries on six continents.

Fundamentally, we bring together foundational real estate and innovative technology expertise around the world to deliver a comprehensive, dedicated product suite to meet customers’ data and connectivity needs. We represent an important part of the digital economy that we believe will benefit from powerful, long-term growth drivers.

We believe that the growth trends in the data center market, technology, the cloud, internet traffic and internet-based services, combined with cost advantages in outsourcing data center requirements, provide attractive growth opportunities for us as a data center solutions provider. Leveraging deep expertise in technology and real estate, we have an expansive global footprint, impressive scale and a full-spectrum fit-for-purpose product offering in key metropolitan areas around the world. These advantages simplify the contracting process for multinational enterprises, eliminating their need to negotiate with multiple local data center solutions providers. In addition, in areas where high data center construction and operating costs and long time-to-market prohibit many of our customers from building their own data centers, our global footprint and scale allow us to meet our customers’ needs quickly and efficiently.

2

Our Data Center Portfolio

Our portfolio of high-quality data centers provides secure, highly connected and continuously available environments for the exchange, processing and storage of critical data. Data centers are used for digital communication, disaster recovery purposes, transaction processing and housing mission-critical corporate IT applications. Our internet gateway data centers are highly connected, network-dense facilities that serve as hubs for internet and data communications within and between major metropolitan areas. We believe internet gateways are extremely valuable, and a high-quality, highly interconnected global portfolio such as ours could not be easily replicated today on a cost-competitive basis.

We are diversified across major metropolitan areas characterized by a high concentration of connected end-users and technology companies. At December 31, 2023, we owned or had investments in properties, on a wholly-owned basis or through unconsolidated entities, in the following geographies:

Graphic

As of December 31, 2023, our portfolio contained a total of approximately 52.3 million rentable square feet including approximately 8.5 million square feet of space under active development and 4.1 million square feet of space held for development. As of December 31, 2023, the 67 data centers held as investments in unconsolidated entities had an aggregate of approximately 10.7 million rentable square feet, and the 32 parcels of developable land we owned comprised approximately 743 acres.

A significant component of our current and future growth is expected to be generated through the development of our existing space held for future development and acquisition of new properties. As of December 31, 2023, our portfolio, including the 67 data centers held as investments in unconsolidated entities, was approximately 81.7% leased. From time to time, we may look to sell individual assets or portfolios that we do not consider to be core to our business and growth strategy.

3

Through strategic investments, we have expanded our footprint into Latin America, enhanced our data center offerings in strategic and complementary U.S. metropolitan areas, established our colocation and interconnection platform in the U.S. and expanded our colocation and interconnection platform in Europe and Africa, with each transaction enhancing our presence in top-tier locations throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and Africa. In addition, on August 1, 2022, we completed our acquisition of a majority interest in Teraco, the largest and most densely interconnected data center platform in South Africa, with an in-service portfolio of seven state-of-the-art data centers strategically located in the key South African metro areas of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. In addition, we are investing in our portfolio to organically expand our capacity. As of December 31, 2023, we had 40 projects underway in 25 metropolitan areas around the world, and 53.5% percent of this data center activity was pre-leased.

The locations of and improvements to our data centers, the network density, interconnection infrastructure and connectivity-centric customers in certain of our facilities, and our comprehensive product offerings are critical to our customers’ businesses, which we believe results in high occupancy levels, longer average lease terms and customer relationships, as well as lower turnover. In addition, many of our data centers contain significant improvements that have been installed at our customers’ expense. The tenant improvements in our data centers are generally readily adaptable for use by similar customers.

Our data centers are physically secure, network-rich and equipped to meet the power and cooling requirements of smaller footprints up to the most demanding IT applications. Many of our data centers are located on major aggregation points formed by the physical presence of multiple major telecommunications service providers, which reduces our customers’ costs and operational risks and enhances the attractiveness of our properties. In addition, our strategically located global data center campuses offer our customers the ability to expand their global footprint as their businesses grow, while our connectivity offerings on our campuses enhance the capabilities and attractiveness of these facilities. Further, the network density, interconnection infrastructure and connectivity-centric customers in certain of our data centers have led to the organic formation of densely connected data communities that are difficult for competitors to replicate and deliver added value to our customers.

Our Diversified Product Offerings

We provide a flexible, global data center platform that allows our customers to tailor infrastructure deployments and controls matched to their business needs. Our data centers and comprehensive suite of product offerings are scalable to meet our customers’ needs, from a single cabinet up to multi-megawatt deployments, along with connectivity, connected data communities and solutions to support their architecture requirements. Over the past few years, we have expanded our product mix to appeal to a broader spectrum of data center customers, especially those seeking to support a greater portion of their data center requirements through a single provider. Our Critical Facilities Management® services and team of engineers and data center operations experts provide 24/7 support for these mission-critical facilities.

PlatformDIGITAL® Solution Model. The PlatformDIGITAL® solution model is based on our patented Pervasive Data Center Architecture (PDx®) methodology, which brings users, networks, clouds, controls and systems to the data, removing barriers, creating centers of data exchange to accommodate distributed workflows and scaling digital business. PlatformDIGITAL® offers solutions for service providers and enterprises supporting their IT architecture requirements with features such as:

Network Hub

 

Consolidates and localizes traffic into ingress/egress points to optimize network performance and cost

Control Hub

 

Hosts adjacent security and IT controls to improve security posture and Hybrid-IT operations

Data Hub

 

Localizes data aggregation, staging, analytics, streaming and data management to optimize data exchange and Private AI workloads

4

Capacity

Product Types

 

Description

0 to 1 MW

(Colocation)

 

Small (one cabinet) to medium (75 cabinets) deployments

Provides agility to quickly deploy in days

Contract length generally 2-5 years

Consistent designs, operational environment, power expenses

> 1 MW

(Scale & Hyperscale

Powered Base Building®

Turn-Key Flex®)

 

Scale from medium to very large deployments

Solution can be executed in weeks

Contract length generally 5-10+ years

Customized data center environment for specific deployment needs

The PlatformDIGITAL® solution model is available in our colocation and scale data centers, which are move-in ready, physically secure facilities with the power, cooling and interconnection capabilities to support customers requiring a cabinet, cage, suite or entire hall. We believe our colocation and Turn-Key Flex® facilities are effective solutions for customers who may lack the bandwidth, capital budget, expertise or desire to provide their own extensive data center infrastructure, management and security. We believe our offerings are also well-suited for those customers who seek to efficiently exchange data with others in our connected data communities lowering their costs and creating value for their business. For customers who possess the ability to build and operate their own facility, our Powered Base Building® solution provides the physical location, requisite power and network access necessary to support a state-of-the-art data center.

Additionally, our data center campuses offer our customers the opportunity to expand in or near their existing deployments within our data center campuses.

Connectivity

Product

 

Description

Cross Connect

 

A physical connection between two customer defined end points in a Digital Realty facility enabling customers to directly exchange data traffic

Campus Connect

 

Local, dedicated connectivity solution within Digital Realty campus environments located in hyperconnected metros around the world enabling multiple facilities on a single campus to exchange data traffic and therefore operate as a virtual single data center

Metro Connect

 

Dedicated connection between multiple Digital Realty facilities located in the same metro area enabling fast connectivity for data traffic between them

Interxion Cloud Connect

Provides secure and high-performance VLAN interconnections to multiple cloud service providers from one physical connection

ServiceFabric™

 

A global open orchestration platform enabling customers to easily provision global connectivity and orchestrate connected services across Digital Realty’s worldwide data center footprint and in third party locations

IP Bandwidth

 

Dedicated Internet Access using blend of ISPs. Provides customer with highly resilient customer dedicated connections including Fixed and Burstable Service options

Pathway

 

Conduit based access to support bulk fiber interconnection, typically terminating into the POP or Meet Me Room within a given facility

5

Through investments and strategic partnerships, we have significantly expanded our capabilities as a leading provider of interconnection and cloud-enablement services globally. We believe interconnection is an attractive line of business that would be difficult to build organically and enhances the overall value proposition of our data center product offerings. Through product offerings such as our ServiceFabric™ and partnerships with cloud service providers, we can support our customers’ hybrid cloud architecture requirements.

Our Global Customers

Our portfolio has attracted a high-quality, diversified mix of customers. We have more than 5,000 customers, and no single customer represented more than approximately 10.9% of the aggregate annualized recurring revenue of our portfolio as of December 31, 2023.

Global Customer Base across a Wide Variety of Industry Sectors. We use our in-depth knowledge of requirements for trends impacting cloud and information technology service providers, content providers, network and communications providers, and other data center users, including enterprise customers, to market our data centers to meet these customers’ specific technology needs. Our customers are increasingly launching multi-regional deployments and growing with us globally. Our largest customer accounted for approximately 10.9% of our aggregate annualized recurring revenue as of December 31, 2023. No other single customer accounted for more than approximately 5.5% of the aggregate annualized recurring revenue of our portfolio. Our customers represent a variety of industry verticals, ranging from cloud and information technology services, communications and social networking to financial services, manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products.

Cloud and IT Services

Digital Content Providers and Financial Companies

Network and Mobile Services

Fortune 50 Software Company

Fortune 25 Investment Grade-Rated Company

AT&T

Global Cloud Provider

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Comcast Corporation

IBM

LinkedIn Corporation

Lumen Technologies, Inc.

Oracle Corporation

Meta Platforms, Inc.

Verizon

Proven Experience Attracting and Retaining Customers. Our specialized data center salesforce, which is aligned to meet our customers’ needs for global, enterprise and network solutions, provides a robust pipeline of new customers, while existing customers continue to grow and expand their utilization of our technology-enabled services to support a greater portion of their IT needs.

Our Design, Engineering and Construction Program

Our extensive development activity, operating scale and process-based approach to data center design and construction result in significant cost savings and added value for our customers. We have leveraged our purchasing power by securing global purchasing agreements and developing relationships with major equipment manufacturers, reducing costs and shortening delivery timeframes on key components, including major mechanical and electrical equipment. See "We and our customers may experience supply chain or procurement disruptions, or increased supply chain costs, which may lead to delays." in Item 1A. Risk Factors for further discussion. Utilizing our innovative modular data center design, we deliver what we believe to be a technically superior data center environment at significant cost savings and reduced time frames. Our access to capital and investment-grade ratings allow us to provide data center solutions for customers who do not want to invest their own capital.

6

Our Investment Approach

We have developed detailed, standardized procedures for evaluating acquisitions and investments, including income-producing properties as well as vacant buildings and land suitable for development, to ensure that they meet our strategic, financial, technical and other criteria. These procedures, together with our in-depth knowledge of the technology, data center and real estate industries, allow us to identify strategically located properties and evaluate investment opportunities efficiently and, as appropriate, commit and close quickly. Our investment-grade ratings, along with our broad network of contacts within the data center industry, enable us to effectively capitalize on acquisition and investment opportunities.

Our Management Team and Organization

Our senior management team has many years of experience in the technology and/or real estate industries, including experience as investors in and advisors to technology companies. We believe that our senior management team’s extensive knowledge of both the technology and the real estate industries provides us with a key competitive advantage. Further, a significant portion of compensation for our senior management team and directors is in the form of common equity interests in our Company. We also maintain minimum stock ownership requirements for our senior management team and directors, further aligning their interests with those of external stockholders, as well as an employee stock purchase plan, which encourages our employees to have ownership in the Company.

Our Business and Growth Strategies

Our primary business objectives are to maximize: (i) sustainable long-term growth in earnings and funds from operations per share and unit, (ii) cash flow and returns to our stockholders and our Operating Partnership’s unitholders through the payment of dividends and distributions and (iii) return on invested capital. We expect to accomplish these objectives by achieving superior risk-adjusted returns, prudently allocating capital, diversifying our product offerings, accelerating our global reach and scale, and driving revenue growth and operating efficiencies.

Superior Risk-Adjusted Returns. We believe that achieving appropriate risk-adjusted returns on our business, including on our development pipeline and leasing transactions, will deliver superior stockholder returns. We may continue to build out our development pipeline when justified by anticipated returns. We have established robust internal guidelines for reviewing and approving leasing transactions, which we believe will drive risk-adjusted returns. We also believe that providing an even stronger value proposition to our customers, including new and more comprehensive product offerings, as well as continuing to improve operational efficiencies, will further drive improved returns for our business.

Prudently Allocate Capital. We believe that the strategic deployment of capital at sufficiently positive spreads above our cost of capital enables us to increase cash flow and create long-term stockholder value.

Strategic and Complementary Investments. We have developed significant expertise at underwriting, financing and executing data center investment opportunities. We employ a collaborative approach to deal analysis, risk management and asset allocation, focusing on key elements, such as market fundamentals, accessibility to fiber and power, and the local regulatory environment. In addition, the specialized nature of data centers makes these investment opportunities more difficult for traditional real estate investors to underwrite, resulting in reduced competition for investments relative to other property types. We believe this dynamic creates an opportunity for us to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns on our capital.

7

Preserve the Flexibility of Our Balance Sheet. We are committed to maintaining a conservative capital structure. Our goal is to average through business cycles the following financial ratios: 1) a debt-to-Adjusted EBITDA ratio around 5.5x, 2) a fixed charge coverage of greater than three times, and 3) floating rate debt at less than 20% of total outstanding debt. In addition, we strive to maintain a well-laddered debt maturity schedule, and we seek to maximize the menu of our available sources of capital, while minimizing the cost. Since Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s initial public offering in 2004, we have raised approximately $65 billion of capital through common (excluding forward contracts), preferred and convertible preferred equity offerings, exchangeable debt offerings, non-exchangeable bond offerings, our Global Revolving Credit Facilities, our term loan facilities, a senior notes shelf facility, secured mortgage financings and re-financings, joint venture partnerships and the sale of non-core assets. We endeavor to maintain financial flexibility while using our liquidity and access to capital to support operations, our acquisition, investment, leasing and development programs and global campus expansion, which are important sources of our growth.

Leverage Technology to Develop Comprehensive and Diverse Products. We believe we have one of the most comprehensive suites of global data center solutions available to customers from a single provider.

Global Service Infrastructure Platform. With our acquisitions, which extended our footprint further across Latin America, Europe and Africa, enhanced our portfolio of scale and hyper-scale data centers in the U.S. and furthered our position as a leading provider of colocation, interconnection and cloud-enablement services globally, we are able to offer one of the industry’s broadest range of data center solutions to meet our customers’ needs, from a single rack or cabinet to multi-megawatt deployments. We believe our products like ServiceFabric™ and our partnerships with managed services and cloud service providers further enhance the attractiveness of our data centers.

Provide Foundational Services to Enable Customers and Partners. We believe that the platform, through which we offer the foundational services of space, power and connectivity, will enable our customers and partners to serve their customers and grow their businesses. We believe our Internet gateway data centers, individual data centers and data center campuses are attractive to a wide variety of customers and partners of all sizes. Furthermore, we believe our colocation and interconnection offerings, as well as the densely connected data communities that have developed within our facilities, and the availability and scalability of our comprehensive suite of products are valuable and critical to our customers and partners.

Accelerate Global Reach and Scale. We have strategically pursued international expansion since our IPO in 2004 and now operate across six continents. We believe that our global multi-product data center portfolio is a foundational element of our strategy and our scale and global platform represent key competitive advantages difficult to replicate. Customers and competitors are recognizing the value of interconnected scale, which aligns with our connected campus strategy that enables customers to “land and expand” with us. We expect to continue to source and execute strategic and complementary transactions to strengthen our data center portfolio, expand our global footprint and product mix, and enhance our scale.

Drive Revenue Growth and Operating Efficiencies. We aggressively manage our properties to maximize cash flow and control costs by leveraging our scale to drive operating efficiencies.

Leverage Strong Industry Relationships. Our global market leadership position and strong industry relationships provide us with a unique vantage point to detect and capitalize on secular trends as they emerge globally. We focus our industry relationship efforts towards market sensing, market shaping and helping to set open standards that benefit companies of all types to derive value from digital infrastructure and multi-tenant datacenters. Industry collaboration includes engagements with industry associations, IT industry analysts, venture capitalists, technology incubators, technology service providers, telecommunications providers, systems integrators and large multi-national companies across segments including manufacturing, transportation and logistics, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceutical and digital media. These relationships help us forge new product capabilities, inform investment decisions, develop new routes to market and create differentiated value for customers and drive long-term growth and yield for stockholders.

8

Maximize Cash Flow. We often acquire operating properties with substantial in-place cash flow and some vacancy, which enables us to create upside through lease-up. We control our costs by negotiating expense pass-through provisions in customer agreements for operating expenses, including power costs and certain capital expenditure. We have also focused on centralizing functions and optimizing operations as well as improving processes and technologies. We believe that expanding our global data center campuses will also contribute to operating efficiencies because we expect to achieve economies of scale on our campus environments.

Sustainability. We believe that addressing sustainability by driving environmental efficiency through the implementation of cost-effective design features and the use of carbon-free and renewable energy serves as a key differentiator enabling us to deliver products that help attract and retain customers, generate cash flow, and manage operational risks. In 2023, for the seventh consecutive year, we received the Nareit “Leader in the Light” award for data centers, recognizing our sustainability and energy-efficiency achievements. In 2023, we allocated approximately €1.7 billion in net proceeds from our green bonds to green buildings, energy efficiency improvements, and renewable energy.

The Real Estate Sustainability Accounting Standard guidance, issued by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, outlines proposed disclosure topics and accounting metrics for the real estate industry. We provide data on energy and water management metrics that we believe best correlate with our business and industry as indicated in the following sections. Energy and water data receive third party assurance as part of our annual environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) report development process.

Energy Management

a) 2022 Energy Data (1)

a

Energy Consumption Data Coverage as % of Floor Area

Total Energy Consumed by Portfolio Area with Data Coverage (MWh)(2)

Grid electricity consumption as a % of Energy Consumption

Renewable Energy as a % of Energy Consumption(3)

Like-for-Like Change in Energy Consumption for Portfolio Area with Data Coverage(4)

95%

10,579,768

97%

56%

9%

(1)The most recent full year for which energy data is available is 2022. The scope of data coverage includes managed and non-managed assets. In 2022, 99% of the Company’s portfolio consisted of data center space along with limited accessory uses, predominantly office space. These secondary space types are not broken out by subsector.
(2)The scope of energy includes energy purchased from sources external to the Company and its customers; energy produced by the Company and its customers (i.e., self-generated); and energy from other sources, including direct fuel usage.
(3)Provided as a percent of energy consumption for managed assets. Excludes renewable energy delivered as part of the standard utility fuel mix. Includes above-baseline utility renewables (e.g., green tariffs), Renewable Energy Credit (“REC”) and Guaranty-of-Origin (“GO”) purchases, customer-sourced renewable energy and RECs generated by the Company.
(4)Scope of data is aligned with the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Reference Guide (“Like-for-like Comparison”).

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b) Sustainable Data Center Ratings

We seek to certify new construction and major redevelopment projects in accordance with recognized sustainable building standards including the U.S. Green Building Council LEED rating system and the BREEAM rating scheme. We may also certify certain properties in accordance with recognized sustainable operations standards. Our data center space receiving third-party sustainable ratings in 2023 totaled 1.3 million square feet. We received the following sustainable data center ratings for the following sites:

Data Center

Metropolitan Area

Rating System

Level Achieved

43704 Efficiency Drive

Ashburn

LEED (1)

Silver

44540 Round Table Plaza

Ashburn

LEED (1)

Silver

701 Union Boulevard

Totowa

LEED (1)

Gold

908 Quality Way

Richardson

LEED (1)

Silver

(1)LEEDTM: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

For existing buildings, we seek to benchmark 100% of applicable properties in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and pursue EPA ENERGY STAR certification for eligible U.S. properties. In 2023, we achieved ENERGY STAR for Data Centers recognition for 31 data centers, representing 39% of our U.S. managed data center portfolio by square feet. We may also certify certain properties outside the U.S. in accordance with regionally recognized energy performance rating standards, such as the NABERS rating scheme in Australia. In total, 30% of our total global managed portfolio by square feet had an energy rating as of December 31, 2023, excluding Powered Base Building® space, space under active development, space held for development and non-managed assets.

c) Energy management considerations

Energy and resource management considerations are integrated into our business decisions and strategy. For our operating portfolio, annual capital expense investment planning identifies and evaluates resource efficiency project opportunities alongside non-resource-impacting capital investments. For acquisitions and new development activity, resiliency risks, resource availability, and renewable energy access are considered. Our design and construction process incorporates sustainable features that support resource efficiency during construction as well as during the operational lifecycle of the sites.

We seek to proactively identify and support opportunities to efficiently utilize resources, such as energy and water, throughout our operating portfolio. We set annual power usage effectiveness targets for assets. Twenty-six of our data centers in EMEA participate in the European Union’s Code of Conduct for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers, a voluntary initiative which addresses airflow management, cooling system efficiency and capital plant replacement.

Globally, we conduct external technical building assessments as well as utilize ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager scores to prioritize efficiency opportunities. Energy efficiency measures implemented typically involve HVAC and lighting-related improvements and building commissioning. In 2022, energy efficiency measures implemented totaled over 14,000 MWh in projected energy saving.

We set a global carbon reduction target that has been validated by the Science-Based Target Initiative to reduce our Scope 1 and 2 emissions 68% per square foot and Scope 3 emissions from purchased goods and services and fuel- and energy-related activities 24% per square foot by 2030, from a 2018 baseline. In 2022, we showed a 43% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions and 1% reduction in Scope 3 emissions against our baseline. Additionally, we are a signatory to the EU Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact, a Self-Regulatory Initiative committing to climate neutrality by 2030 and setting additional goals around energy efficiency, carbon-free energy sourcing, water conservation and waste heat recycling, and we received a certificate of conformity with respect to the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact in 2023. We continue to match the energy consumption of our European portfolio and the U.S. colocation business unit with renewable energy. Our six operational U.S. renewable energy purchase agreements produced 992,000 MWh of renewable energy credits in 2022.

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We implement ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 50001 (Energy Management) to measure, manage and improve the energy and environmental performance of our data centers. In 2022, 39% of our global portfolio had ISO 14001 certifications and 18% of our global portfolio was covered under ISO 50001. Additionally, 100% of our Singapore portfolio was certified under the SS564 Green Data Centres standard for Energy and Environmental Management Systems.

Water Management

a) 2022 Water Data (1)

Water Withdrawal Data Coverage as % of Floor Area

% of Floor Area with 40% or Greater Baseline Water Stress (2)

Total Water Withdrawn by Portfolio Area with Data Coverage (cubic meters, in thousands) (3)

% of Water Withdrawn with 40% or Greater Baseline Water Stress (2)

Like-for-Like Change in Water Withdrawals (4)

89%

39%

5,956

48%

9%

(1)The most recent full year for which water data is available is 2022. The scope of data coverage includes managed and non-managed assets. The scope of water withdrawals is aligned with the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Reference Guide. In 2022, 99% of the Company’s portfolio consisted of data center space along with limited accessory uses, predominantly office. These secondary space types are not broken out by subsector.
(2)Based on properties classified as High or Extremely High Baseline Water Stress determined by the World Resources Institute’s Water Risk Atlas tool, Aqueduct. Includes properties that have complete water withdrawal data coverage.
(3)The scope of water consumed includes potable water and non-potable water purchased from third-party suppliers and water reused.
(4)Scope of data is aligned with the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment Reference Guide (“Like-for-like Comparison”).

b) Water Management Risks and Mitigation Strategies

Our global water strategy addresses the strategic role that water plays in our operations and regions where water quality and scarcity pose the greatest interruption risk to our business. Some of our assets are in regions of high or extremely high baseline water stress and may face future risk of water scarcity, higher water costs, and regulatory constraints on water consumption. We consider water availability, cost, and alternate supply solutions to potable water such as municipally supplied non-potable water, which accounted for 36% of our total water usage in 2023. We also consider cooling system designs to maximize ‘free cooling’ and reduce or eliminate reliance on water for cooling.

Climate Change Adaptation

a) Properties located in 100-Year Flood Zones

Two U.S. data centers totaling approximately 0.5 million square feet are exposed to 100-year flood zones designated by the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency as special flood hazard areas. An additional 25 data centers in Europe totaling approximately 2.6 million square feet are exposed to 100-year flood zones.

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b) Climate Change Risks and Mitigation Strategies

We evaluate potential risks and opportunities as a result of climate change and have implemented strategies to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities. Climate change risks that we have identified include acute and chronic physical risks, as well as transition risks such as market, policy, reputational, and technology risks. Management of climate-related risks and opportunities is a company-wide effort, delivered through an interdisciplinary effort with contributions from our global operations team, risk management, environmental occupational health and safety, compliance, information security, physical security and other functions, with oversight by our executive management team and governed by our Board of Directors. We manage potential risks first via our siting and design standards, then by implementing recommendations to proactively mitigate losses related to short-term acute weather events as well as long-term climate-related changes. Climate resilience measures include maintaining appropriate levels of insurance for each asset, performing climate risk scenario analyses for a selection of our global portfolio, and implementing operational risk reduction measures at the site level. We continue to align our ESG Report with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to disclose specific climate-related financial risks and opportunities, mitigation strategies, and associated metrics and targets.

Competition

We compete with numerous data center providers globally, many of whom own or operate properties similar to ours in some of the same metropolitan areas where our data centers are located, including Equinix, Inc. and NTT; various private operators in the U.S.; as well as Global Switch Holdings Limited and various regional operators in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia. See "We face significant competition, which may adversely affect the occupancy and rental rates of our data centers." in Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Regulation

General

Our properties are subject to various laws, ordinances and regulations, including regulations relating to common areas. We believe each of our properties as of December 31, 2023 has the necessary permits and approvals to operate.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Our properties must comply with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or the ADA, to the extent that such properties are “public accommodations” as defined by the ADA. We believe our properties are in substantial compliance with the ADA and that we will not be required to make substantial capital expenditures to address the requirements of the ADA. However, non-compliance with the ADA could result in imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. The obligation to make accommodations in accordance with the ADA, as well as other applicable laws and regulations is an ongoing one, and we will continue to assess our properties and make alterations as appropriate in this respect. See “We may incur significant costs complying with applicable laws and governmental regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.” in Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Environmental Matters

We are exposed to various environmental risks that may result in unanticipated losses and could affect our operating results and financial condition. Either the previous owners or we have conducted environmental reviews on a majority of the properties we have acquired, including land. While some of these assessments have led to further investigation and sampling, none of the environmental assessments have revealed an environmental liability that we believe would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations. See "We could incur significant costs related to environmental matters, including from government regulation, private litigation, and existing conditions at some of our properties." in Item 1A. Risk Factors for further discussion.

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Climate Change Legislation

The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in 2022, commits funding to climate and energy programs but does not impose mandatory emissions reductions. Regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and states have taken the lead in regulating GHG emissions in the U.S. The Biden administration has described climate change regulation as a top priority, announcing in April 2021 a target of reducing net U.S. GHG emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.

The EPA made an endangerment finding in 2009 that allows it to create regulations imposing emissions reporting, permitting, control technology installation, and monitoring requirements applicable to certain emitters of GHGs, including facilities that provide electricity to our data centers, although the materiality of the impacts will not be fully known until all regulations are finalized and legal challenges are resolved. Under the Obama administration, the EPA finalized rules imposing permitting and control technology requirements upon certain newly-constructed or modified facilities which emit GHGs under the Clean Air Act New Source Review Prevention of Significant Deterioration, or NSR PSD, and Title V permitting programs. As a result, newly-issued NSR PSD and Title V permits for new or modified electricity generating units (EGUs) and other facilities may need to address GHG emissions, including by requiring the installation of “Best Available Control Technology.” The EPA also implemented in December 2015 the “Clean Power Plan” regulating carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired and natural gas EGUs. However, in 2019 the EPA repealed the Clean Power Plan and issued the “Affordable Clean Energy Rule” to replace the Clean Power Plan. The Affordable Clean Energy Rule requires heat rate efficiency improvements at certain EGUs, but does not place numeric limits on EGU emissions. In 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated both the Affordable Clean Energy Rule and the Clean Power Plan repeal rule, and the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ruling in 2022. The EPA announced in January 2023 that it expects to propose carbon standards for new and existing power plants in April 2023 and finalize them by June 2024. Separately, the EPA’s GHG “reporting rule” requires that certain emitters, including electricity generators, monitor and report GHG emissions.

States have been driving regulation to reduce GHG emissions in the United States. At the state level, California implemented a GHG cap-and-trade program that began imposing compliance obligations on industrial sectors, including electricity generators and importers, in January 2013. In September 2016, California adopted legislation calling for a further reduction in GHG emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030, and in July 2017, California extended its cap-and-trade program through 2030. In September 2018, California adopted legislation that will require all of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free sources by 2045. California also in December 2022 passed a regulation to achieve a zero-carbon economy by 2045. The plan sets out various goals, including cutting GHG emissions by 48 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, exceeding the state’s mandate of a 40 percent reduction. As other examples of state action, in May 2021, Washington passed a law capping GHG emissions from electricity generators and other entities, and in December 2021 Oregon adopted a GHG cap-and-trade program. In addition, in January 2023, New York implemented a “cap-and-invest” program which sets an annual cap on the amount of GHG emissions permitted statewide to meet the New York Climate Act requirement of a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 and at least an 85 percent reduction by 2050, in each case using 1990 as a baseline. Additionally, a number of states have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards to increase the use of renewable energy, and a number of eastern states participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based program aimed at reducing GHG emissions from power plants.

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Outside the United States, the European Union, or EU (as well as the United Kingdom), have been operating since 2005 under a cap-and-trade program, which directly affects the largest emitters of GHGs, including electricity producers from whom we purchase power, and the EU has taken a number of other climate change-related initiatives, including a directive targeted at improving energy efficiency (which introduces energy efficiency auditing requirements). In December 2019, EU leaders endorsed the objective of achieving by 2050 a climate-neutral EU, with net-zero GHG emissions, and in July 2021 the European Commission adopted the European Climate Law to write this goal into the law. The European Climate Law includes a 2030 GHG reduction target of at least 55% below 1990 levels. In July 2021 the European Commission also adopted a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to institute a carbon import tax, which covers electricity imports. In November 2022, the European Commission reached a provisional agreement with the European Parliament to establish binding GHG emission targets for the transport, buildings, waste, and agriculture sectors. National legislation may also be implemented independently by members of the EU. The United Kingdom, after Brexit, independently adopted a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and implemented an emissions trading scheme.

The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by the United States and 194 other countries and looks to prevent global average temperatures from increasing by more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, went into force in November 2016. President Trump announced in June 2017 that he would initiate the process to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement; however, upon his inauguration in January 2021, President Biden signed an order rejoining the Paris Agreement.

The Canadian Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act established a carbon-pricing regime that went into effect in January 2019 for provinces and territories in Canada where there is no provincial system in place already, or where the provincial system does not meet the federal benchmark. The act was challenged in court and upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada in March 2021. Climate change regulations are also in various stages of implementation in other nations as well, including nations where we operate, such as Japan, Singapore, and Australia.

Insurance

We carry commercial general liability, property, business interruption insurance, and other insurance coverage on all of the properties in our portfolio. We select coverages, policy specifications and insured limits which we believe to be appropriate given the relative risk of loss, the cost of coverage, and industry practice. Insurance is maintained through a combination of commercial insurance, self-insurance and wholly-owned captive insurance entity. We believe the properties in our portfolio are adequately insured. We do not carry insurance for generally uninsured exposures such as loss from war or nuclear reaction. In addition, we carry earthquake insurance on our properties in an amount and with deductibles we believe are commercially reasonable. See “Potential losses may not be covered by insurance.” in Item 1A. Risk Factors.

Human Capital Resource Management

As of December 31, 2023, we had 3,664 full-time employees. The geographic distribution of our global employee base as of December 31, 2023 is summarized in the following table.

Region

    

Number of Employees

North America

 

1,518

EMEA

 

1,930

Asia Pacific

 

216

Total

 

3,664

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Compensation, Benefits and Employee Wellbeing

To attract and retain the best-qualified talent and to help our employees maintain healthy and balanced lives, and meet their financial and retirement goals, we offer competitive benefits, including market-competitive compensation, healthcare, flexible vacation, parental leave, 401(k)/pension company match, an employee stock purchase plan, fitness reimbursement program, commuter benefits, tuition reimbursement, employee skills development and leadership development. Employee surveys are conducted annually to solicit feedback and to help prioritize and improve employee engagement.

We also encourage our employees to give back to the community by matching their contributions to eligible charitable organizations through our Matching Gifts Program. Additionally, our Donate 8 Program grants paid time off each year to employees for the purpose of volunteering for eligible organizations. We also sponsor and support the Women’s Leadership Forum, the Black Employee Resource Group, Digital Pride, the Hispanic Employee Resource Group, and the Veterans Employee Group, which promote a diverse and inclusive network to grow and deliver the next wave of digital innovation.

We prioritize providing programs and benefits that promote healthy and productive lifestyles. We offer a company-wide wellness program, Wellness@Digital, that serves to invest in the health, fitness, financial wellness and overall quality of life for our employees. We implement wellness challenges that promote physical activity and an active lifestyle, with additional price incentivizes for winners of the challenges.

During 2023, we sought to play an active role in supporting the communities we operate in across North America, EMEA and APAC. This included companywide giving focused on our four areas of philanthropic focus (disaster relief, STEM, sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion).

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

It is our Company’s policy to recruit talent based on skill, knowledge, attitude and experience, without discrimination on the basis of any legally protected characteristic, including but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, age, family status, ethnic origin, nationality, disability or religious belief. In 2020, we formally launched DEI@Digital (formally known as DEI Employee Leadership Council) to assess the current state of our diversity, equity and inclusion (“DEI”) initiatives beyond the Women’s Leadership Forum employee resource group. DEI@Digital’s initial purpose in collaboration with HR was to identify opportunities for progress, formulate a cohesive strategy, and ultimately lead our global DEI effort. DEI@Digital’s ongoing mission is to support an environment where diverse voices can be heard, equity is championed, and everyone is included. Additionally, it is intended to unlock innovation, enhance decision-making, attract top talent, and better serve our customers. Since 2020, the Company has launched four new employee resource groups (ERGs)—Digital Pride (LGBTQI+ ERG), the Black ERG, the Veteran’s ERG and the Digital Voces (Hispanic ERG). Today, more than 1,000 employees globally are members of Digital Realty’s ERGs. DEI@Digital has recently added Digital Circles which are employee-led groups based on shared experiences, identities, and interests. Currently there are three Digital Circles—Parents of Neurodivergent Children, Pet Parents and Southeast Asian Employees. Additionally, DEI@Digital runs a philanthropic program aligning Digital Realty’s DEI efforts with charitable giving currently supporting organizations ranging from the National Museum of African American History & Culture, to InterPride, to DFW Canines for Veterans.

Digital Realty’s DEI focus and work are set with the “tone from the top” from President & CEO Andrew P. Power. He has signed the CEO Action Pledge for Diversity & Inclusion, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Mr. Power and his leadership team help drive our DEI efforts including through ERG sponsorship and employee DEI events. In 2023, we published our EEO-1 report, providing transparency on the racial and gender composition of our U.S. workforce. We disclose our DEI strategy and initiatives annually in our ESG Report.

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Available Information

All reports we file with the SEC are available free of charge via EDGAR through the SEC website at www.sec.gov. We will also provide copies of our Forms 8-K, Forms 10-K, Forms 10-Q, Proxy Statements and amendments to those documents at no charge to investors upon request and make electronic copies of such reports available through our website at www.digitalrealty.com as soon as reasonably practicable after filing such material with the SEC. The information found on, or otherwise accessible through, our website is not incorporated by reference into, nor does it form a part of, this report or any other document that we file with the SEC.

Offices

Our headquarters are located in Austin, Texas. We have regional U.S. offices in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Northern Virginia and San Francisco and regional international offices in Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

Reports to Security Holders

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. is required to send an annual report to its securityholders and to our Operating Partnership’s unitholders.

ITEM 1A.      RISK FACTORS

For purposes of this section, the term “stockholders” means the holders of shares of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s common stock and preferred stock. Set forth below are the risks that we believe are material to Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s stockholders and Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s unitholders. You should carefully consider the following factors in evaluating our Company, our properties and our business. The occurrence of any of the following risks might cause Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s stockholders and Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s unitholders to lose all or a part of their investment. Some statements in this report, including statements in the following risk factors, constitute forward-looking statements. Please refer to the section entitled “Forward-Looking Statements” starting on page 47.

Overview

Our business, operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below, that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and the trading price of our common stock and preferred stock. The following material factors, among others, could cause our actual results to differ materially from historical results and those expressed in forward-looking statements made by us or on our behalf in filings with the SEC, press releases, communications with investors and oral statements. The risks that we describe in our public filings are not the only risks that we face. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us, or that we currently consider immaterial, also may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Risk Factors Summary

The following is a summary of the principal risks that could adversely affect our business, operations and financial results.

Risk Related to Our Business and Operations

Our business depends upon the demand for data centers.
We face significant competition, which may adversely affect the occupancy and rental rates of our data centers.
Any failure of our physical or information technology or operational technology infrastructure or services could lead to significant costs and disruptions.
We and our third-party providers may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and security breaches that could materially disrupt or compromise our operations, data and results.

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We depend on significant customers, and many of our data centers are single-tenant properties or are currently occupied by single tenants.
Failure to attract, grow and retain a diverse and balanced customer base, including key magnet customers, could harm our business and operating results.
Our contracts with our customers could subject us to significant liability.
Certain of our customer agreements may include restrictions on the sale of our properties to certain third parties, which could have a material adverse effect on us.
Our data centers may not be suitable for re-leasing without significant expenditures or renovations.
We may be unable to lease vacant or development space, renew leases, or re-lease space as leases expire.
Even if we have additional space available for lease at any one of our data centers, our ability to lease this space to existing or new customers could be constrained by our ability to provide sufficient electrical power.
Our portfolio depends upon local economic conditions and is geographically concentrated in certain locations.
Our business and operations, and our customers, suppliers and business partners may be adversely affected by epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks.
We lease or sublease certain of our data center space from third parties and the ability to retain these leases or subleases could be a significant risk to our ongoing operations.
We and our customers may experience supply chain or procurement disruptions, or increased supply chain costs, which may lead to delays.
We may not be able to adapt to changing technologies and customer requirements, and our data center infrastructure may become obsolete.
We depend upon third-party suppliers for power, and we are vulnerable to service failures and to price increases by such suppliers and to volatility in the supply and price of power in the open market.
We depend on third parties to provide network connectivity to the customers in our data centers and any delays or disruptions in connectivity may materially adversely affect our operating results and cash flow.
Our international activities, including acquisition, ownership and operation of data centers located outside of the United States, subject us to risks different than those we face in the United States and we may not be able to effectively manage our international business.
Our recent acquisitions may not achieve the intended benefits or may disrupt our plans and operations.
We may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities related to our recent acquisitions, for which we may have no or limited recourse against the sellers.
Joint venture (JV) investments could be adversely affected by our lack of sole decision-making authority, our reliance on our JV partners’ financial condition and disputes between us and our JV partners.
Any delays or unexpected costs in the development of our existing space and developable land and new properties acquired for development may delay and harm our growth prospects, future operating results and financial condition.
Many of our costs, such as operating and general and administrative expenses, interest expense and real estate acquisition and construction costs, could be adversely impacted by periods of heightened inflation.
We have substantial debt and face risks associated with the use of debt to fund our business activities, including refinancing and interest rate risks.
Our growth depends on external sources of capital which are outside of our control.
Declining real estate valuations, impairment charges and illiquidity of real estate investments could adversely affect our earnings and financial condition.
Our success depends on key personnel whose continued service is not guaranteed.
We may have difficulty managing our growth.
Potential losses may not be covered by insurance.
We could incur significant costs related to environmental matters, including from government regulation, private litigation, and existing conditions at some of our properties.
We may incur significant costs complying with applicable laws and governmental regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Our business could be adversely impacted if there are deficiencies in our disclosure controls and procedures or internal control over financial reporting.

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Risks Related to the Organizational Structure

The interests of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s stockholders may conflict with the interests of Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s unitholders.
Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s charter, Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s partnership agreement and Maryland law contain provisions that may delay, defer or prevent a change of control transaction.
The conversion rights of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s preferred stock may be detrimental to holders of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s common stock.
Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s rights and the rights of its stockholders to take action against its directors and officers are limited.

Risks Related to Taxes and Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s Status as a REIT

Failure to qualify as a REIT would have significant adverse consequences to Digital Realty Trust, Inc. and its stockholders and to Digital Realty Trust, L.P. and its unitholders.
In certain circumstances, Digital Realty Trust, Inc. may be subject to federal and state taxes as a REIT, which would reduce its cash available for distribution to its stockholders.
Dividends payable by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends.
The tax imposed on REITs engaging in “prohibited transactions” may limit our ability to engage in transactions which would be treated as sales for federal income tax purposes.
Complying with REIT requirements may cause us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities or liquidate otherwise attractive investments.
The power of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s Board of Directors to revoke Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s REIT election without stockholder approval may cause adverse consequences to Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s stockholders and Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s unitholders.
If Digital Realty Trust L.P. were to fail to qualify as a partnership for federal income tax purposes, Digital Realty Trust, Inc. would fail to qualify as a REIT and suffer other adverse consequences.
Tax liabilities and attributes inherited in connection with acquisitions may adversely impact our business.
Changes in U.S. or foreign tax laws and regulations, including changes to tax rates, legislation and other actions may adversely affect our results of operations, our stockholders, Digital Realty Trust, L.P.’s unitholders and us.

Risks Related to Our Business and Operations

Our business depends upon the demand for data centers.

We are in the business of owning, acquiring, developing and operating data centers. A reduction in the demand for data center space, power or connectivity would have a greater adverse effect on our business and financial condition than if we owned a portfolio with a less specialized use. Our substantial development activities make us particularly susceptible to general economic slowdowns as well as adverse developments in the data center, Internet and data communications and broader technology industries. Any such slowdown or adverse development could lead to reduced corporate IT spending or reduced demand for data center space. Reduced demand could also result from business relocations, including to metropolitan areas that we do not currently serve. Changes in industry practice or in technology could also reduce demand for the physical data center space we provide. In addition, our customers may choose to develop new data centers or expand their own existing data centers or consolidate into data centers that we do not own or operate, which could reduce demand for our newly developed data centers or result in the loss of one or more key customers. If any of our key customers were to do so, it could result in a loss of business to us or put pressure on our pricing. Mergers or consolidations of technology companies could reduce further the number of our customers and potential customers and make us more dependent on a more limited number of customers. If our customers merge with or are acquired by other entities that are not our customers, they may discontinue or reduce the use of our data centers in the future. Our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected as a result of any or all of these factors.

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We face significant competition, which may adversely affect the occupancy and rental rates of our data centers.

We compete with numerous data center providers globally, many of whom own or operate properties similar to ours in some of the same metropolitan areas where our data centers are located, including Equinix, Inc. and NTT; various private operators in the U.S.; as well as Global Switch Holdings Limited and various regional operators in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia. In addition, we may in the future face competition from new entrants into the data center market, including new entrants who may acquire our current competitors. Some of our competitors and potential competitors have significant advantages over us, including greater name recognition, longer operating histories, pre-existing relationships with current or potential customers, significantly greater financial, marketing and other resources and more ready access to capital which allow them to respond more quickly to new or changing opportunities.

If our competitors offer space that our customers or potential customers perceive to be superior to ours based on factors such as available power, security, location, or connectivity, or if they offer rental rates below current market rates, or below the rental rates we are offering, we may lose customers or potential customers or be required to incur costs to improve our data centers or reduce our rental rates. In addition, many of our competitors have developed and continue to develop additional data center space. If the supply of data center space continues to increase as a result of these activities or otherwise, rental rates may be reduced or we may face delays in leasing or be unable to lease our vacant space, including space that we develop. Further, if customers or potential customers desire services that we do not offer, we may not be able to lease our space to those customers. Our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected as a result of any or all of these factors.

Any failure of our physical or information technology or operational technology infrastructure or services could lead to significant costs and disruptions.

Our business depends on providing customers with highly reliable services, including with respect to power supply, physical security, cybersecurity, and maintenance of environmental conditions. We may fail to provide such services because our operations are vulnerable to, among other things, mechanical or telecommunications failure, power outage, human error, physical or electronic security breaches, cyberattacks, war, terrorism, fire, earthquake, pandemics, hurricane, flood and other natural disasters, sabotage and vandalism.

Substantially all of our customer agreements include terms requiring us to meet certain service level commitments. Any failure to meet these or other commitments or any equipment damage in our data centers due to any reason could subject us to contractual liability, including service level credits against customer rent payments, legal liability and monetary damages, regulatory sanctions, or, in certain cases of repeated failures, the right by the customer to terminate the agreement. Service interruptions, equipment failures or security breaches could also materially impact our brand and reputation globally and lead to customer contract terminations or non-renewals and an inability to attract customers in the future.

We and our third-party providers may be vulnerable to cyberattacks and security breaches that could materially disrupt or compromise our operations, data and results.

We rely on computer systems, hardware, software, online sites and networks, as well as physical, digital and operational technology infrastructure to support our internal and external operations (collectively, “Information Systems”). We own, operate, and manage complex, global Information Systems and also rely on third-party providers for a range of Information Systems and other products and services, such as cloud computing. We face evolving risks that threaten the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Information Systems and data, including from state-sponsored espionage actors, financially motivated hackers, hacktivists and insiders, as well as through diverse attack vectors, such as social engineering/phishing, malware (including ransomware), human or technological error, or due to “bugs,” misconfigurations and known and unknown vulnerabilities in hardware, software, systems and processes that support our business.

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Attacks, breaches or disruptions to our, or any providers’ or customers’, Information Systems or controls could result in, among other things, unauthorized access to our or customers’ physical assets or Information Systems, misappropriation of our or customers’ sensitive or proprietary information, disruptions to our or customers’ operations, breaches of legal and regulatory (e.g., privacy laws such as GDPR) or contractual obligations, and/or other operational and business impacts. The foregoing could expose us to material lawsuits, regulatory actions, penalties or fines, monetary damages, loss of existing or potential customers, harm to our reputation and significant increases in our security and insurance costs, and other adverse effects on our business and results.

We regularly experience cyberattacks and security incidents, and we expect such attacks and incidents to continue in the future. For example, we frequently face sophisticated phishing campaigns designed to install malicious software on our network. While to date no attacks or incidents have materially impacted us, we cannot guarantee that material incidents will not occur in the future. There can also be no assurance that our cybersecurity risk management processes will be fully implemented as currently anticipated, complied with or effective in protecting our or our customers’ Information Systems and data, particularly because threat actors are increasingly sophisticated and using tools such as artificial intelligence that circumvent controls and evade detection, making mitigation and recovery challenging and uncertain.

Although our customers maintain computing equipment in our facilities, we generally do not have access to, nor knowledge of, what applications or data are stored or processed on such equipment. For some customers, we provide digital infrastructure and platforms-as-a-service, which increases the risk of compromise to customer data, and we have been expanding these aspects of our business.

Regulators around the world are increasingly focusing on, and investigating, cybersecurity matters. For example, as we disclosed in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 9, 2023, the Division of Enforcement of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting an investigation into the adequacy of our disclosures of cybersecurity risks and our related disclosure controls and procedures. We are cooperating with the SEC and are not aware of any cybersecurity issue or event that caused the Staff to open this matter. Responding to an investigation of this type can be costly and time-consuming. While we are unable to predict the likely outcome of this matter or the potential cost or exposure or duration of the process, based on the information we currently possess, we do not expect the total potential cost to be material to our financial condition. If the SEC believes that violations occurred, it could seek remedies including, but not limited to, civil monetary penalties and injunctive relief, and/or file litigation against the Company.

We have made, and expect to continue to make, investments to update and modernize both existing and newly acquired Information Systems. We have ongoing acquisitions and investment activity, including through the formation of joint ventures. For example, we have acquired and invested in, and continue to acquire and invest in, businesses and operations (including joint ventures) around the world, including in new regions with complex and evolving regulatory frameworks and differing risk profiles, and including in and with companies that have cybersecurity vulnerabilities and security measures which may be less robust than our existing Information Systems, which increases our cybersecurity risks. In addition, transitioning to new or upgraded Information Systems, and integrating acquired Information Systems and data, creates challenges, causes disruption to current processes, governance and structures, and can increase our cybersecurity vulnerabilities and costs to mitigate and remediate such vulnerabilities. Further, cybersecurity governance with respect to our joint ventures may be more complex due to the necessary interactions and oversight of multiple joint venture partners and their respective governing bodies. Difficulties in implementing new, upgraded, and/or acquired Information Systems or significant failures, delays, or other inability to modify and respond to changes in our or our customers’ business and cybersecurity needs could adversely affect our results.

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We depend on significant customers, and many of our data centers are single-tenant properties or are currently occupied by single tenants.

As of December 31, 2023, the 20 largest customers in our portfolio represented approximately 50% of the total annualized recurring revenue generated by our properties. Our top three customers represented approximately 21% of the total annualized recurring revenue generated by our properties as of December 31, 2023. In addition, 32 of our 309 data centers are occupied by single customers, including data centers occupied solely by our top three customers. Many factors, including global economic conditions, may cause our customers to experience a downturn in their businesses or otherwise experience a lack of liquidity, which may weaken their financial condition and impact our estimates as to the probability of collectability of payments, and ultimately result in their failure to make timely rental and other payments or their default under their agreements with us. Further, the development of new technologies, the adoption of new industry standards or other factors could render many of our customers’ current products and services obsolete or unmarketable and contribute to a downturn in their businesses, thereby increasing the likelihood that they default under their leases, become insolvent or file for bankruptcy. If any customer defaults or fails to make timely rent or other payments, we may experience delays in enforcing our rights as landlord and may incur substantial costs in protecting our investment, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

If any customer becomes a debtor in a case under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, we cannot evict the customer solely because of the bankruptcy. In addition, the bankruptcy court might authorize the customer to reject and terminate its contracts with us. Our claim against the customer for unpaid, future rent and other payments would be subject to a statutory cap that might be substantially less than the remaining amounts actually owed under their agreements with us. In either case, our claim for unpaid rent and other amounts would likely not be paid in full. Our revenue and cash available for distribution could be materially adversely affected if any of our significant customers were to become bankrupt or insolvent, suffer a downturn in their businesses, fail to renew their contracts or renew on terms less favorable to us than their current terms. As of February 23, 2024, we had no material customers in bankruptcy.

Failure to attract, grow and retain a diverse and balanced customer base, including key magnet customers, could harm our business and operating results.

Our ability to attract, grow and retain a diverse and balanced customer base, consisting of enterprises, cloud service providers, network service providers, and digital economy customers, some of which we consider to be key magnets drawing in other customers, may affect our ability to maximize our revenues. Dense and desirable customer concentrations within a facility enable us to better generate significant interconnection revenues, which in turn increases our overall revenues. Our ability to attract customers to our data centers will depend on a variety of factors, including our product offerings, the presence of carriers, the overall mix of customers, the presence of key customers attracting business through ecosystems, the data center’s operating reliability and security and our ability to effectively market our product offerings. Our inability to develop, provide or effectively execute any of these factors may hinder the development, growth and retention of a diverse and balanced customer base and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our contracts with our customers could subject us to significant liability.

In the ordinary course of business, we enter into agreements with our customers pursuant to which we provide data center space, power, environmental controls, physical security and connectivity products to our customers. These contracts typically contain indemnification and liability provisions, in addition to service level commitments, which could potentially impose a significant cost on us in the event of losses arising out of certain breaches of such agreements, services to be provided by us or our subcontractors or from third-party claims. Customers increasingly are looking to pass through their regulatory obligations and other liabilities to their outsourced data center providers and we may not be able to limit our liability or damages in an event of loss suffered by such customers whether as a result of our breach of an agreement or otherwise. Further, liabilities and standards for damages and enforcement actions, including the regulatory framework applicable to different types of losses, vary by jurisdiction, and we may be subject to greater liability for certain losses in certain jurisdictions. Additionally, in connection with our acquisitions, we have assumed existing agreements with customers that may subject us to greater liability for such an event of loss. If such an event of loss occurred, we could be liable for material monetary damages and could incur significant legal fees in defending against such an action, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.

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Certain of our customer agreements may include restrictions on the sale of our properties to certain third parties, which could have a material adverse effect on us.

Certain of our customer agreements may prohibit us from selling certain properties to a third party unless specified conditions are met. The existence of such restrictions could hinder our ability to sell one or more of these properties, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our data centers may not be suitable for re-leasing without significant expenditures or renovations.

Because many of our data centers contain tenant improvements installed at our customers’ expense, they may be better suited for a specific data center user or technology industry customer and could require significant modification in order for us to re-lease vacant space to another data center user or technology industry customer. The tenant improvements may also become outdated or obsolete as the result of technological change, the passage of time or other factors. In addition, our development space will generally require substantial improvement to be suitable for data center use. For the same reason, our properties also may not be suitable for leasing to traditional office customers without significant expenditures or renovations.

As a result, we may be required to invest significant amounts or offer significant discounts to customers in order to lease or re-lease that space, either of which could adversely affect our financial and operating results.

We may be unable to lease vacant or development space, renew leases, or re-lease space as leases expire.

At December 31, 2023, we owned approximately 8.5 million square feet of space under active development and approximately 4.1 million square feet of space held for future development. We intend to continue to add new space to our development inventory and to continue to develop additional space from this inventory. A portion of the space that we develop has been, and may continue to be, developed on a speculative basis, meaning that we do not have a signed customer agreement for the space when we begin the development process. We also develop space specifically for customers pursuant to agreements signed prior to beginning the development process. In those cases, if we fail to meet our development obligations under those agreements, these customers may be able to terminate the agreements and we would be required to find a new customer for this space. In addition, in certain circumstances we lease data center facilities prior to their completion. If we fail to complete the facilities in a timely manner, the customer may be entitled to terminate its agreement, seek damages or penalties against us or pursue other remedies and we may be required to find a new customer for the space. We cannot assure you that once we have developed space or land we will be able to successfully lease it at all, or at rates we consider favorable or expected at the time we commenced development. Further, once development of a data center facility is complete, we incur certain operating expenses even if there are no customers occupying any space. If we are not able to complete development in a timely manner or successfully lease the space that we develop, if development costs are higher than we currently estimate, or if rental rates are lower than expected when we began the project or are otherwise undesirable, our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected.

In addition, as of December 31, 2023, customer agreements representing 22.8% of the square footage of the properties in our portfolio, excluding month-to-month leases and space held for development, were scheduled to expire through 2025, and an additional 19.7% of the net rentable square footage, excluding space held for development, was available to be leased. Some of this space may require substantial capital investment to meet the power and cooling requirements of our customers, or may no longer be suitable for their needs. In addition, we cannot assure you that customer agreements will be renewed or that our properties will be re-leased at all, or at net effective rental rates equal to or above the current average net effective rental rates. If the rental rates for our properties decrease, our existing customers do not renew their agreements, we do not lease or re-lease our available space, including newly developed space and space for which customer agreements are scheduled to expire, or it takes longer for us to lease or re-lease this space or for rents to commence on this space, our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected.

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Additionally, a customer’s decision to lease space and power in one of our data centers and to purchase additional products typically involves a significant commitment of resources and due diligence on the part of our customers regarding the adequacy of our facilities. As a result, the leasing of data center space can have a long sales cycle, and we may expend significant time and resources in pursuing a particular transaction that may not result in revenue. Economic conditions, including market downturns, may further impact this long sales cycle by making it difficult for customers to plan future business activities, which could cause customers to slow spending or delay decision-making. Our inability to adequately manage the risks associated with the sales cycle may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Even if we have additional space available for lease at any one of our data centers, our ability to lease this space to existing or new customers could be constrained by our ability to provide sufficient electrical power.

As current and future customers increase their power footprint in our data centers over time, the corresponding reduction in available power could limit our ability to increase occupancy rates or network density within our existing data centers. Furthermore, at certain of our data centers, our aggregate maximum contractual obligation to provide power and cooling to our customers may exceed the physical capacity at such data centers if customers were to quickly increase their demand for power and cooling. If we are not able to increase the available power and/or cooling or move the customer to another location within our data centers with sufficient power and cooling to meet such demand, we could lose the customer as well as be exposed to liability under our customer agreements. In addition, our power and cooling systems are difficult and expensive to upgrade. Accordingly, we may not be able to efficiently upgrade or change these systems to meet new demands without incurring significant costs that we may not be able to pass on to our customers. Any such material loss of customers, liability or additional costs could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our portfolio depends upon local economic conditions and is geographically concentrated in certain locations.

Our portfolio is located in 54 metropolitan areas. As of December 31, 2023, our portfolio, including the 67 data centers held as investments in unconsolidated entities, was geographically concentrated in the following metropolitan areas:

    

Percentage of

December 31, 2023

Metropolitan Area

Total annualized rent (1)

Northern Virginia

 

17.3

%

Chicago

 

8.1

%

Frankfurt

 

6.4

%

London

 

5.2

%

Singapore

 

5.0

%

Dallas

 

4.9

%

New York

4.8

%

Silicon Valley

 

4.6

%

Amsterdam

 

4.3

%

Sao Paulo

 

4.2

%

Johannesburg

 

2.7

%

Paris

 

2.7

%

Portland

 

2.6

%

Tokyo

 

2.0

%

Phoenix

1.8

%

Other

 

23.4

%

Total

 

100.0

%

(1)Annualized rent is monthly contractual rent (defined as cash base rent before abatements) under existing leases as of December 31, 2023 multiplied by 12. Includes consolidated portfolio and unconsolidated entities at the entities’ 100% ownership level. The aggregate amount of abatements for the year ended December 31, 2023 was approximately $105.3 million.

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Some of these areas have experienced downturns in recent years. We depend upon the local economic conditions in these areas, including local real estate conditions, and our operations, revenue and cash available for distribution could be materially adversely affected by a downturn in local economic conditions in these areas. Our operations may also be affected if too many competing properties are built in any of these areas or supply otherwise increases or exceeds demand. We cannot assure you that these locations will grow or will remain favorable to data center investments or operations. In addition, we are currently developing data centers in certain of these metropolitan areas. Any negative changes in real estate, technology or economic conditions in these metropolitan areas in particular could negatively impact our performance.

Our business and operations, and our customers, suppliers and business partners may be adversely affected by epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks.

Epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks of an illness, disease or virus that affect countries or regions in which we or our customers, suppliers or business partners operate, and actions taken to contain or prevent their further spread, may have a material and adverse impact on general commercial activity and on our financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and creditworthiness. Epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks of an illness, disease or virus could result in significant governmental measures being implemented to control the spread of such illness, disease or virus, including quarantines, travel restrictions, manufacturing restrictions, declarations of states of emergency, business shutdowns, prioritization and allocation of resources, and restrictions on the movement of our employees and those of our customers, suppliers and business partners on which we rely, which could adversely affect our ability and their respective abilities to adequately manage our respective businesses. Risks related to epidemics, pandemics or other outbreaks of an illness, disease or virus could also lead to the complete or partial closure of one or more of our offices or properties or our customers’, suppliers’ or business partners’ businesses, or otherwise result in significant disruptions to our business and operations or theirs. Such events could materially and adversely impact our operations and the rental revenue we generate from our agreements with our customers or could result in defaults by our customers.

In particular, the global spread of COVID-19 and the various attempts to contain it have created significant volatility, uncertainty and economic disruption, including in construction activity. We have experienced delays in construction activity in certain markets as a result of the availability of labor, and these delays have impacted and are continuing to impact some of our anticipated deliveries to our customers. We may continue to experience delays in construction activity due to increased safety protocols implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We cannot predict the full extent of the impact that the epidemics, pandemics and other global events will have on our customers, suppliers and other business partners; however, any material effect on these parties could adversely impact us, our future financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. The full extent to which epidemics, pandemics and the various responses to such events impact our business, operations and financial results will depend on numerous evolving factors that we may not be able to accurately predict, including: the duration and scope of such event; governmental, business and individuals’ actions that have been and continue to be taken in response to such event; the availability of and cost to access the capital markets; the effect on our customers and customer demand for and ability to pay for our services; the impact on our development projects; and disruptions or restrictions on our employees’ ability to work and travel.

We lease or sublease certain of our data center space from third parties and the ability to retain these leases or subleases could be a significant risk to our ongoing operations.

We do not own all the buildings in our portfolio. These leased buildings accounted for approximately 15% of our total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2023. In addition, we may acquire additional leased data center space or businesses that lease facilities instead of owning them. Our business could be harmed if we are unable to renew the leases for these data centers on favorable terms or at all. Additionally, in several of our smaller facilities we sublease our space, and our rights under these subleases are dependent on our sublandlord retaining its rights under the prime lease. When the initial terms of our existing leases expire, we generally have the right to extend the terms of our leases for one or more renewal periods, subject to, in the case of several of our subleases, our sublandlord renewing its term under the prime lease. If renewal rates are less favorable than those we currently have, we may be required to increase revenues within existing data centers to offset such increase in lease payments. Failure to increase revenues to sufficiently offset these projected higher costs could adversely impact our operating income. Upon the end of our renewal options, we would have to renegotiate our lease terms with the applicable landlords.

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Additionally, if we are unable to renew the lease at any of our data centers, we could lose customers due to the disruptions in their operations caused by the relocation. We could also lose those customers that choose our data centers based on their locations. The costs of relocating data center infrastructure equipment, such as generators, power distribution units and cooling units, to different data centers could be prohibitive and, as such, we could lose the value of this equipment. For these reasons, any lease that cannot be renewed could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We and our customers may experience supply chain or procurement disruptions, or increased supply chain costs, which may lead to delays.

The development of our data centers requires the timely delivery of required equipment and materials. We rely on third parties to provide the equipment, materials and services needed for our construction and development needs. Our global supply chain and development activities could be impacted by disruptions, such as political events, international trade disputes, war, terrorism, natural disasters, public health issues, industrial accidents, pandemics and other business interruptions, which could impact our ability to meet delivery timelines, including delivery timelines to our customers. These disruptions could also lead to delays, reputational damage, potential penalties that we may be required to pay and potential terminations of agreements by our customers. If any such delay or disruption were to occur, it could have an adverse effect on our liquidity and financial condition. Changes in the timing or cost of procuring materials, equipment and services used in our construction and development programs could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. Similarly, our customers may experience supply chain or procurement disruptions, constraints and increased costs, which may impact their ability to deploy in our facilities, which could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial condition. During the pandemic and its related and other ongoing global supply chain issues, we have actively monitored our vendors and suppliers and remain in frequent communication with customers, contractors and suppliers. We have proactively managed our supply chain, and we believe the required equipment will continue to be delivered to complete our ongoing development activities. Although to date, we have been able to manage through disruptions in our supply chain and procurement process due to the pandemic and other global events, continuing disruptions could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial condition. However, the full extent and impact of global supply chain constraints on our future supply chain and procurement process cannot be reasonably estimated at this time and it could have a material adverse impact on our business and financial condition. In addition, the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the conflict in the Middle East and other potential global conflicts, could lead to market disruptions, including significant volatility in commodity prices, credit and capital markets, an increase in cyber security incidents as well as supply chain disruptions.

We may not be able to adapt to changing technologies and customer requirements, and our data center infrastructure may become obsolete.

The technology industry generally and specific industries in which certain of our customers operate are characterized by rapidly changing technology, customer requirements and industry standards. New systems to deliver power to or eliminate heat in data centers or the development of new server technology that does not require the levels of critical load and heat removal that our facilities are designed to provide and could be run less expensively on a different platform could make our data center infrastructure obsolete. Our power and cooling systems are difficult and expensive to upgrade, and we may not be able to efficiently upgrade or change these systems to meet new demands without incurring significant costs that we may not be able to pass on to our customers which could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, the infrastructure that connects our data centers to the Internet and other external networks may become insufficient, including with respect to latency, reliability and connectivity. We may not be able to adapt to changing technologies or meet customer demands for new processes or technologies in a timely and cost-effective manner, if at all, which would adversely impact our ability to sustain and grow our business.

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Further, our inability to adapt to changing customer requirements may make our data centers obsolete or unmarketable to such customers. Some of our customers operate at significant scale across numerous data center facilities and have designed cloud and computing networks with redundancies and fail-over capabilities across these facilities, which enhances the resiliency of their networks and applications. As a result, these customers may realize cost benefits by locating their data center operations in facilities with less electrical or mechanical infrastructure redundancy than is found in our existing data center facilities. Additionally, some of our customers have begun to operate their data centers using a wider range of humidity levels and at temperatures that are higher than servers customarily have operated at in the past, all of which may result in energy cost savings for these customers. We may not be able to operate our existing data centers under these environmental conditions, particularly in multi-tenant facilities with other customers who are not willing to operate under these conditions, and our data centers could be at a competitive disadvantage to facilities that satisfy such requirements. Because we may not be able to modify the redundancy levels or environmental systems of our existing data centers cost effectively, these or other changes in customer requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Additionally, due to regulations that apply to our customers as well as industry standards, such as ISO and SOC certifications which customers may deem desirable, they may seek specific requirements from their data centers that we are unable to provide. If new or different regulations or standards are adopted or such extra requirements are demanded by our customers, we could lose some customers or be unable to attract new customers in certain industries, which could materially and adversely affect our operations.

We depend upon third-party suppliers for power, and we are vulnerable to service failures and price increases by such suppliers and to volatility in the supply and price of power in the open market.

We rely on third parties to provide power to our data centers, and we cannot ensure that these third parties will deliver such power in adequate quantities or on a consistent basis. We are also reliant on third parties to deliver additional power capacity to support the growth of our business If the amount of power available to us is inadequate to support our customer requirements, we may be unable to satisfy our obligations to our customers or grow our business. In addition, our data centers may be susceptible to power shortages and planned or unplanned power outages caused by these shortages. Power outages may last beyond our backup and alternative power arrangements, which would harm our customers and our business. Any loss of services or equipment damage could adversely affect both our ability to generate revenues and our operating results, harm our reputation and potentially lead to customer disputes or litigation.

In addition, we may be subject to risks and unanticipated costs associated with obtaining power from various utility companies. Utilities that serve our data centers may be dependent on, and sensitive to price increases for, a particular type of fuel, such as natural gas, coal or nuclear. In addition, the price of these fuels and the total cost of delivered electricity could increase as a result of: regulations intended to regulate carbon emissions and other pollutants, ratepayer surcharges related to recovering the cost of extreme weather events and natural disasters, geopolitical conflicts, military conflicts, grid modernization charges, as well as other charges borne by ratepayers. Increases in the cost of power at any of our data centers could put those locations at a competitive disadvantage relative to data centers that are supplied power at a lower price.

We have also entered into power purchase agreements with contract terms ranging from 5-15 years. These agreements require us to purchase renewable energy and/or renewable energy credits from producers at fixed prices over the terms of the contracts, subject to certain adjustments. In the event that the market price for energy decreases, we may be required to pay more under the power purchase agreements than we would otherwise if we were to purchase renewable energy credits on the open market, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Additionally, interruptions in the operations of one or more of the suppliers under these agreements, as a result of extreme weather events, natural disasters or otherwise, could negatively impact the quantity of renewable energy credits delivered to us.

In particular, disruptions in the oil and gas and electric power markets have caused, and could continue to cause, significant increases in energy prices, which could have a material effect on our business. Additional potential sanctions and penalties have also been implemented and/or threatened against Russia. Some of our data centers in Europe indirectly rely on energy produced in-part from fossil fuels, including fossil fuels that may originate from Russia, which Russia has reduced. If Russia further reduces or turns off energy supplies to Europe, our European operations could be affected adversely.

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We depend on third parties to provide network connectivity to the customers in our data centers and any delays or disruptions in connectivity may materially adversely affect our operating results and cash flow.

We are not a telecommunications carrier. Although our customers generally are responsible for providing their own network connectivity, we still depend upon the presence of telecommunications carriers’ fiber networks serving our data centers in order to attract and retain customers. We believe that the availability of carrier capacity will directly affect our ability to achieve our projected results. Any carrier may elect not to offer its services within our data centers. Any carrier that has decided to provide network connectivity to our data centers may not continue to do so for any period of time. Further, some carriers are experiencing business difficulties or have announced consolidations. As a result, some carriers may be forced to downsize or terminate connectivity within our data centers, which could have an adverse effect on the business of our customers and, in turn, our own operating results.

Our data centers may require construction and operation of a sophisticated redundant fiber network. The construction required to connect multiple carrier facilities to our data centers is complex and involves factors outside of our control, including regulatory requirements and the availability of construction resources. We have obtained the right to use network resources owned by other companies, including rights to use dark fiber, in order to attract telecommunications carriers and customers to our portfolio. If the establishment of highly diverse network connectivity to our data centers does not occur, is materially delayed or is discontinued, or is subject to failure, our operating results and cash flow may be materially adversely affected. Additionally, any hardware or fiber failures on this network may result in significant loss of connectivity to our data centers. This could negatively affect our ability to attract new customers or retain existing customers, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our international activities, including acquisition, ownership and operation of data centers located outside of the United States, subject us to risks different than those we face in the United States and we may not be able to effectively manage our international business.

Our portfolio included 184 data centers, including 47 held in unconsolidated entities, located outside of the United States as of  December 31, 2023. We have acquired and developed, and may continue to acquire and develop, and operate data centers outside the United States.

The ownership and operation of data centers located outside of the United States subject us to risks from fluctuations in exchange rates between foreign currencies and the U.S. dollar. Changes in the relation of these currencies to the U.S. dollar will affect our revenues and operating margins, and may materially adversely impact our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt obligations. We may attempt to mitigate some or all of the risk of currency fluctuation by financing our properties in the local currency denominations, although we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so or that this will be effective. We may also engage in direct hedging activities to mitigate the risks of exchange rate fluctuations in a manner consistent with our qualifications as a REIT, although we cannot assure you that we will be able to do so or that this will be effective.

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Our foreign operations involve additional risks not generally associated with or different from operations in the United States, including:

our limited knowledge of and relationships with sellers, customers, contractors, suppliers or other parties in these metropolitan areas;
complexity and costs associated with managing international development and operations;
difficulty in hiring qualified management, sales and construction personnel and service providers in a timely fashion;
the adoption and expansion of trade restrictions or the occurrence of trade wars;
differing employment practices and labor issues, including related to works councils, employee committees, labor unions and collective rights of action;
multiple, conflicting and changing legal, regulatory, entitlement and permitting, and tax and treaty environments;
unexpected changes in political environments, such as the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union;
exposure to increased taxation, confiscation or expropriation;
currency transfer restrictions and limitations on our ability to distribute cash earned in foreign jurisdictions to the United States;
difficulty in enforcing agreements in non-U.S. jurisdictions, including those entered into in connection with our acquisitions or in the event of a default by one or more of our customers, suppliers or contractors;
local business and cultural factors;
geographic, political and economic instability, including sovereign credit risk and rapid and unpredictable changes in economic policy and regulatory environments, in certain geographic regions and emerging markets; and
risks related to bribery and corruption.

The likelihood of such occurrences and their potential effect on us vary from country to country and are unpredictable. Certain regions, including Latin America, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, have in the past and may continue to be more economically and politically volatile and, as a result, operations in these regions could be subject to heightened risk of disruption, which could have a material adverse effect on our overall results of operations.

With respect to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, significant political and economic uncertainty remains about how the precise terms of the relationship between the parties will differ from the terms before withdrawal. Lack of clarity about future United Kingdom laws and regulations as the United Kingdom determines which European Union laws to replace or replicate, including financial laws and regulations, tax and free trade agreements, tax and customs laws, intellectual property rights, environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, immigration laws, employment laws and transport laws could increase costs, disrupt supply chains, and depress economic activity and restrict our access to capital. Any of these factors could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and reduce the price of our securities.

We also face risks with investing in unfamiliar metropolitan areas. We have acquired and may continue to acquire properties in international metropolitan areas that are new to us. When we acquire properties located in these metropolitan areas, we may face risks associated with a lack of market knowledge or understanding of the local economy and culture, forging new business relationships in the area and unfamiliarity with local government and permitting procedures. In addition, due diligence, transaction and structuring costs may be higher than those we may face in the United States. We work to mitigate such risks through extensive diligence and research and associations with experienced local partners; however, we cannot assure you that all such risks will be eliminated.

Our inability to overcome these risks could adversely affect our international activities, including our foreign operations and could harm our business and results of operations.

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Our recent acquisitions may not achieve the intended benefits or may disrupt our plans and operations.

Acquisitions present many risks, and we may not realize the financial or strategic goals that were contemplated at the time of the transaction. Our ability to realize the anticipated benefits of our combination with Interxion in March 2020 and other acquisitions depends, to a large extent, on our ability to integrate each of them with our business. The combination of two independent businesses can be a complex, costly and time-consuming process, which requires significant time and focus from our management team and may divert attention from the day-to-day operations of our business. There can be no assurance that we will be able to successfully integrate acquired properties and businesses with our business or otherwise realize the expected benefits of these acquisitions. In addition, even if our operations are integrated successfully with the operations of our acquisitions, we may not realize the full benefits of the acquisitions, including the synergies, operating efficiencies, or sales or growth opportunities that are expected. These benefits may not be achieved within the anticipated time frame or at all. All of these factors could decrease or delay any potential accretive effect of the acquisitions and negatively impact the price of our common stock.

In addition, the overall integration of the businesses may result in material unanticipated problems, expenses, liabilities, competitive responses and loss of customer relationships, among other potential adverse consequences. Actual integration costs may exceed those estimated and there may be further unanticipated costs and the assumption of known and unknown liabilities. While we have assumed that we will incur certain integration expenses, there are factors beyond our control that could affect the total amount or the timing of such expenses. Many of the expenses that will be incurred, by their nature, are difficult to estimate accurately. If we cannot integrate and operate acquired properties or businesses to meet our financial expectations, our financial condition, results of operations, cash flow, cash available for distribution and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations could be materially adversely affected.

The risks of combining businesses include, among others:

we may have underestimated the costs to make any necessary improvements to the acquired properties;
the acquired properties may be subject to reassessment, which may result in higher than expected property tax payments;
we may be unable to integrate new acquisitions quickly and efficiently, particularly acquisitions of operating businesses or portfolios of properties, into our existing operations;
we may face difficulties in integrating employees and in retaining key personnel;
we may face challenges in keeping existing customers, including key customers, which could adversely impact our revenue;
we may be unable to effectively manage our expanded operations; and
market conditions may result in higher than expected vacancy rates and lower than expected rental rates on acquired properties.

Any one of these risks could result in increased costs, decreases in the amount of expected revenue and diversion of our management’s time and energy, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Several of our data centers, including the data centers which we have acquired in the past five years, have been under our management for a limited time. The data centers may have characteristics or deficiencies unknown to us that could affect their valuation or revenue potential. We cannot assure you that the operating performance of these data centers will not decline under our management.

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We may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities related to our recent acquisitions, for which we may have no or limited recourse against the sellers.

Our recent and future acquisitions may be subject to unknown or contingent liabilities for which we may have no or limited recourse against the sellers. Unknown or contingent liabilities might include liabilities for clean-up or remediation of environmental conditions, claims of customers, vendors or other persons dealing with the acquired entities or the former owners of acquired properties or businesses, tax liabilities, claims for indemnification by general partners, directors, officers and others indemnified by the former owners of acquired properties or businesses, and other liabilities whether incurred in the ordinary course of business or otherwise. In addition, the total amount of costs and expenses that we may incur with respect to liabilities associated with our acquisitions may exceed our expectations, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Further, we have entered, and may in the future enter, into transactions with limited representations and warranties or with representations and warranties that do not survive the closing of such transactions, in which event we would have no or limited recourse against the sellers of such properties or businesses. While we usually require the sellers to indemnify us with respect to breaches of representations and warranties that survive, such indemnification is often limited and subject to various materiality thresholds, a significant deductible or an aggregate cap on losses. We may obtain insurance policies providing for coverage for breaches of certain representations and warranties in certain transactions, subject to certain exclusions and a deductible, however, there can be no assurance that we would be able to recover any amounts with respect to losses due to breaches of any such representations and warranties. As a result, there is no guarantee that we will recover any amounts with respect to losses due to breaches by the sellers of their representations and warranties. Finally, indemnification agreements between us and the sellers typically provide that the sellers will retain certain specified liabilities relating to the properties or businesses acquired by us. While the sellers are generally contractually obligated to pay all losses and other expenses relating to such retained liabilities, there can be no guarantee that such arrangements will not require us to incur losses or other expenses as well.

Joint venture (JV) investments could be adversely affected by our lack of sole decision-making authority, our reliance on our JV partners’ financial condition and disputes between us and our JV partners.

We currently, and may in the future, co-invest with third parties through partnerships, joint ventures or other entities, acquiring non-controlling interests in or sharing responsibility for managing the affairs of a property or portfolio of properties, partnership, joint venture or other entity. In these events, we are not in a position to exercise sole decision-making authority regarding the properties, partnership, joint venture or other entity. Investments in partnerships, joint ventures, or other entities may, under certain circumstances, involve risks not present when a third party is not involved, including the possibility that partners might become bankrupt or fail to fund their share of required capital contributions. Partners may have economic, tax or other business interests or goals which are inconsistent with our business interests or goals, and may be in a position to take actions contrary to our policies or objectives. Our joint venture partners may take actions that are not within our control, which would require us to dispose of the joint venture asset or transfer it to a taxable REIT subsidiary in order for Digital Realty Trust, Inc. to maintain its status as a REIT. Such investments may also lead to impasses, for example, as to whether to sell a property, because neither we nor our partner would have full control over the partnership or joint venture. Disputes between us and our partners may result in litigation or arbitration that would increase our expenses and prevent our management from focusing their time and effort on our day-to-day business. Consequently, actions by or disputes with our partners may subject properties owned by the partnership or joint venture to additional risk. In addition, we may in certain circumstances be liable for the actions of our third-party partners. Each of these factors may result in returns on these investments being less than we expect or in losses and our financial and operating results may be adversely affected. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will be able to close joint ventures, on the anticipated schedule or at all. Failure to complete any such joint venture could have a negative impact on our business and the trading price of our common stock. Over the past few years, and particularly during the last 12 months, we have completed a number of new joint ventures, including our first development joint ventures, and such investments may increase the risks described herein.

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Any delays or unexpected costs in the development of our existing space and developable land and new properties acquired for development may delay and harm our growth prospects, future operating results and financial condition.

At December 31, 2023, we had approximately 8.5 million square feet of space under active development and approximately 4.1 million square feet of space held for future development. We have built and may continue to build out a large portion of this space on a speculative basis at significant cost. Our successful development of these projects is subject to many risks, including those associated with:

delays in construction, or changes to the plans or specifications;
budget overruns, increased prices for raw materials or building supplies, or lack of availability and/or increased costs for specialized data center components, including long lead time items such as generators;
construction site accidents and other casualties;
financing availability, including our ability to obtain construction financing and permanent financing, or increases in interest rates or credit spreads;
labor availability, costs, disputes and work stoppages with contractors, subcontractors or others that are constructing the project;
failure of contractors to perform on a timely basis or at all, or other misconduct on the part of contractors;
access to sufficient power and related costs of providing such power to our customers;
environmental issues;
supply chain constraints;
fire, flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters;
pandemics;
geological, construction, excavation and equipment problems; and
delays or denials of entitlements or permits, including zoning and related permits, or other delays resulting from requirements of public agencies and utility companies.

In addition, while we intend to develop data centers primarily in metropolitan areas we are familiar with, we may in the future develop data centers in new geographic regions where we expect the development to result in favorable risk-adjusted returns on our investment. We may not possess the same level of familiarity with the development of data centers in other metropolitan areas, which could adversely affect our ability to develop such data centers successfully or at all or to achieve expected performance.

Development activities, regardless of whether they are ultimately successful, also typically require a substantial portion of our management’s time and attention. This may distract our management from focusing on other operational activities of our business. If we are unable to complete development projects successfully, our business may be adversely affected.

Many of our costs, such as operating and general and administrative expenses, interest expense and real estate acquisition and construction costs, could be adversely impacted by periods of heightened inflation. 

Over the past year, the consumer price index has increased substantially year over year. Federal policies to stimulate the economy during the pandemic and more recent global events, such as the rising price of oil and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, may have exacerbated, and may continue to exacerbate, inflation and increases in the consumer price index.

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A sustained or further increase in inflation could have an adverse impact on our operating expenses incurred in connection with, among others, the property-related contracted services such as repairs and maintenance, utilities, security and insurance. With regard to utilities expense, which is our largest expense category, the vast majority of the expense is passed directly through to our customers which significantly mitigates our exposure to increases in power costs.  For our other operating expenses, we expect to recover some increases from our customers through our existing lease structures, annual rent escalations or from the resetting of rents from our renewal and re-leasing activities. As a result, we do not believe that inflation would result in a significant adverse effect on our net operating income and operating cash flows at the property level. However, there can be no assurance that the impact of inflation will be adequately offset by some of our annual rent escalations contained in our leases, and it is possible that the resetting of rents from our renewal and re-leasing activities would not fully offset the impact of higher operating expenses resulting from inflationary pressure. As a result, during inflationary periods in which the inflation rate exceeds the annual rent escalation percentages within our customer contracts, we may not adequately mitigate the impact of inflation, which may adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.

Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation costs and professional service fees. Rising inflation rates may require us to provide compensation increases beyond historical annual increases, which may unexpectedly or significantly increase our compensation costs. Similarly, professional service fees are also subject to the impact of inflation and expected to increase proportionately with increasing market prices for such services. Consequently, inflation may increase our general and administrative expenses over time and may adversely impact our results of operations and cash flows.

Additionally, inflationary pricing may have a negative effect on the construction costs necessary to complete our development projects, including, but not limited to, costs of construction equipment and materials, labor and services from third-party contractors and suppliers. We rely on a number of third-party suppliers and contractors to supply raw materials, skilled labor and services for our construction projects. Certain increases in the costs of construction equipment and materials can often be managed in our development projects through either general budget contingencies built into our overall construction cost estimates for each of our projects or guaranteed maximum price construction contracts, which stipulate a maximum price for certain construction costs and shift inflation risk to our construction general contractors. However, no assurance can be given that our budget contingencies would accurately account for potential construction cost increases given the current severity of inflation and variety of contributing factors or that our general contractors would be able to absorb such increases in costs and complete our construction projects timely, within budget, or at all. Higher construction costs could adversely impact our investments in real estate assets and expected yields on our development projects, which may adversely impact our returns on our investments. As a result, our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, liquidity and ability to satisfy our debt service obligations and to pay dividends and distributions to security holders could be adversely affected over time.

We have substantial debt and face risks associated with the use of debt to fund our business activities, including refinancing and interest rate risks.

Our total consolidated indebtedness at December 31, 2023 was approximately $17.5 billion, and we may incur significant additional debt to finance future acquisition, investment and development activities. We have a Global Revolving Credit Facility and the Yen Revolving Credit Facility, which provide for borrowings of up to $3.9 billion (including approximately $0.2 billion available to be drawn on the Yen Revolving Credit Facility) based on currency commitments and foreign exchange rates as of December 31, 2023. We have the ability from time to time to increase the size of the Global Revolving Credit Facility by up to $750 million, subject to receipt of lender commitments and other conditions precedent. At December 31, 2023, approximately $1.8 billion was available under this facility, net of outstanding letters of credit. As of February 21, 2024, we had approximately $1.9 billion available under the Global Revolving Credit Facility, net of outstanding letters of credit.

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Our substantial indebtedness currently requires us to dedicate a significant portion of our cash flow from operations to debt service payments, which reduces the availability of our cash flow to fund working capital, capital expenditures, expansion efforts, distributions and other general corporate purposes. Additionally, it could: make it more difficult for us to satisfy our obligations with respect to our indebtedness; limit our ability in the future to undertake refinancing of our debt or obtain financing for expenditures, acquisitions, development or other general corporate purposes on terms and conditions acceptable to us, if at all; or affect adversely our ability to compete effectively or operate successfully under adverse economic conditions.

In addition, we may violate restrictive covenants or fail to maintain financial ratios specified in our loan documents, which would entitle the lenders to accelerate our debt obligations, and our secured lenders or mortgagees may foreclose on our properties or our interests in the entities that own the properties that secure their loans and receive an assignment of rents and leases. Our default under any one of our loans could result in a cross-default on other indebtedness. A foreclosure on one or more of our properties could adversely affect our access to capital, financial condition, results of operations, cash flow and cash available for distribution. Further, foreclosures could create taxable income without accompanying cash proceeds, a circumstance which could hinder Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s ability to meet the REIT distribution requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code.

Additional risks related to our indebtedness include the following:

We may be unable to refinance our indebtedness at maturity or the refinancing terms may be less favorable than the terms of our original indebtedness. It is likely that we will need to refinance at least a portion of our outstanding debt as it matures. If we are unable to refinance or extend principal payments due at maturity or pay them with proceeds of other capital transactions, then our cash flow may not be sufficient in all years to repay all such maturing debt and to pay distributions. Further, if prevailing interest rates or other factors at the time of refinancing, such as the reluctance of lenders to make commercial real estate loans, result in higher interest rates upon refinancing, then the interest expense relating to that refinanced indebtedness would increase.

Fluctuations in interest rates could materially affect our financial results and may increase the risk our counterparty defaults on our interest rate hedges. Because a significant portion of our debt, including debt incurred under our Global Revolving Credit Facilities, bears interest at variable rates, increases in interest rates could materially increase our interest expense. If the United States Federal Reserve and other central banks continue to increase short-term interest rates, this could have a significant upward impact on the interest rates that apply to our variable rate debt. Potential future increases in interest rates and credit spreads may increase our interest expense and therefore negatively affect our financial condition and results of operations, and reduce our access to capital markets. We have entered into interest rate swap agreements and cross currency swap agreements. Our derivative transactions expose us to risk of financial loss if a counterparty fails to perform under a derivative contract. Disruptions in the financial markets could lead to sudden decreases in a counterparty's liquidity, which could make them unable to perform under the terms of their derivative contract and we may not be able to realize the benefit of the derivative contract.

Adverse changes in our Company’s credit ratings could negatively affect our financing activity. The credit ratings of our senior unsecured long-term debt and Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s preferred stock are based on our Company’s operating performance, liquidity and leverage ratios, overall financial position and other factors employed by the credit rating agencies in their rating analyses of our Company. Our Company’s credit ratings can affect the amount of capital we can access, as well as the terms and pricing of any debt we may incur. We cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain our current credit ratings, and in the event our current credit ratings are downgraded, we would likely incur higher borrowing costs and may encounter difficulty in obtaining additional financing. Also, a downgrade in our credit ratings may trigger additional payments or other negative consequences under our current and future credit facilities and debt instruments. For example, if the credit ratings of our senior unsecured long-term debt are downgraded to below investment grade levels, we may not be able to obtain or maintain extensions on certain of our existing debt. Adverse changes in our credit ratings could negatively impact our refinancing and other capital market activities, our ability to manage our debt maturities, our future growth, our financial condition, the market price of Digital Realty Trust, Inc.’s stock, and our development and acquisition activity.

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Our Global Revolving Credit Facilities and senior notes restrict our ability to engage in some business activities. Our Global Revolving Credit Facilities contain negative covenants and other financial and operating covenants that, among other things, restrict our ability to: incur additional indebtedness; make certain investments; merge with another company; and create, incur or assume liens; and require us to maintain financial coverage ratios, including with respect to unencumbered assets.

In addition, the Global Revolving Credit Facilities restrict Digital Realty Trust, Inc. from making distributions to its stockholders, or redeeming or otherwise repurchasing shares of its capital stock, after the occurrence and during