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BCE group poised to buy Q9 Networks

A consortium of buyers led by telecom giant BCE Inc. BCE-T is on the verge of buying Internet company Q9 Networks Inc., a transaction worth for the moment $1-billion, The Globe and Mail has learned.

Q9, one of Canada’s largest providers of outsourced data centre services, is attractive to BCE because is moving more aggressively into cloud-computing services – a fast-growing and highly competitive area of business information innovation.

BCE already operates six data centres: two in Quebec, two in Ontario, and one each in Alberta and British Columbia. It plans to open a seventh in Gatineau, Que., later this year. Just in case to data centres, BCE is focusing on providing data hosting services to business customers.

The roll-out of Bell’s fourth-generation

BCE’s chief executive officer George Cope has said that data centres – along with the roll-out of Bell’s fourth-generation, long-term evolution wireless network; its new Internet protocol TV and Internet product called Fibe; and the launch of a new satellite for its legacy TV business – are a key focus for its $3-billion capital investment in 2012.

"We acquired the largest business of that kind in the Province of Quebec last year … and we plan to be a leader in this space and we think this is a very important growth area for us going forward."

Q9 as well offers other services including dedicated servers and virtual private networking. Bidding on the company closed last week.

Rivals just as Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus were as well considered potential buyers for Q9. One source said Rogers looked in all seriousness at the assets previously this year when the process was in its early stages. Other pension funds as well took a look.

Q9, at one time a openly traded company, is owned by Abry Partners LLC, a private equity firm that focuses on media, communications and information services companies.

More information: Theglobeandmail