TORONTO, June 2 Canada's biggest
telecommunications company, BCE Inc, has joined with a
group of private equity fund managers to buy data center company
Q9 Networks Inc for C$1.1 billion ($1.06 billion), BCE said on
Toronto-based Q9 is one of Canada's largest outsourced data
centre operators and will be run as an independent company under
current management after the deal closes, BCE said.
Under the terms of the deal, BCE will pay C$180 million and
Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners LLC
and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC will contribute C$420 million
of the equity funding.
Newly-committed debt financing from Q9 will also help fund
the purchase, which is expected to close before the end of 2012.
BCE has spent heavily to acquire assets, including CTV,
Canada's largest private broadcaster. It is in the process of
buying Astral Media Inc, a major content supplier for
BCE's television services, which it is expanding to smartphones
and tablet computers on its wireless network.
Q9 has 11 data centres and offers co-location, bandwidth,
dedicated servers, firewalls, load balancing, virtual private
networking (VPN) and back-up/restore capabilities to protect and
manage customer data remotely.
Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and
Toronto Dominion Bank are providing debt financing. BMO
Capital Markets and TD Securities served as financial advisors
to Q9. Barclays, Evercore Partners, and RBC Capital Markets are
serving as financial advisors to the investor group.
The news was first reported by the Globe and Mail newspaper,
which said BCE's rivals Rogers Communications Inc and
Telus Corp had also considered buying Q9.