Microsoft purchased a huge chunk of land in eastern Sweden that the company said it will hold on to for “potential future use.”
The municipalities of Gävle and Sandviken announced the deal Tuesday, saying the tech giant has acquired 130 hectares (321 acres) of land for $29.6 million. Microsoft said in a statement it has been in Sweden for more than 33 years and it has more than 600 employees there.
Here is the full statement from Microsoft:
We are purchasing land in Gävle and Sandviken for potential future use in anticipation of needs to support our expanding presence in Europe. We’ve been operating in Sweden for 33 years where we currently employ about 600 people, mainly in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Linköping. As we look to the future, we will work directly with the municipalities and citizens as our plans develop.
The land Microsoft acquired is nearly two-thirds the size of the tech giant’s home base in Redmond, Wash. That campus is home to tens of thousands of employees and 125 buildings totaling 15 million square feet.
Gävle is home to more than 100,000 people, and it buts up against the Baltic Sea. It is about an hour away from the Stockholm-Arlanda international airport and is home to the University of Gävle, a 13,000-student institution that includes fields of study like surveying and mapping, creative software engineering, health promotion and health education.
Sandviken is about 20 miles west of Gävle and is home to about 40,000 people. Several major export businesses are located in Sandviken, and the area as a whole is home to several international companies in the forestry and communications industries.
The two municipalities say the Microsoft deal strengthens the area as a “modern industrial region.”
“It is very exciting that a company like Microsoft, with such magnitudes within the digital infrastructure, is interested in large land areas in our region,” Patrik Stenvard, chairman of the municipal council in Gävle, told iHubs Sweden. “Our goal is to become one of the region’s largest industrial establishments.”