Over the weekend, Canada’s BCE, a.k.a. Bell, and three private equity groups have announced an agreement to acquire Q9 Networks. It’s just the latest example of an incumbent provider acquiring data center assets in order to gain a foothold in the very hot new market of providing cloud-based solutions to the enterprise.
Also interesting is who they are buying this from, which appears to be ABRY Partners – which has been one of the most active buyers and sellers of infrastructure assets in the sector for some time. ABRY acquired Q9 back in 2008 for $361M. These days, ABRY owns Sidera, Telx, Masergy, and Xand (amongst others of course) – quite a variety of asset types.
The price of the Q9 purchase works out to C$1.1B, of which Bell will contribute C$180M. C$420M will come from the private equity trio of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners, and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. The remaining C$500M presumably represents net debt to be assumed, the refinancing of which has already been aranged through BMO, RBC and TD.
Q9 operates 11 data centers across the three provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia, supporting 17MW of customer load. The company’s current CEO and COO will continue to operate the business.
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