VoIP Business and Virtual PBX
Telecom IT

Consortiumof buyers led

A consortiumof buyers led by telecom giant BCE Inc. has struck a dealto buy Internet company Q9 Networks Inc. for $1.1-billion following a marathonsession of late-night talks.

Q9, one ofCanada's largest providers of outsourced data centre services, is attractive toBCE because it is moving more aggressively into cloud-computing services - afast-growing and highly competitive area of business information innovation. TomLittle, president of Bell Business Markets, noted the acquisition would alsohelp leverage BCE's broadband network infrastructure.

BCE alreadyoperates six data centres: two in Quebec, two in Ontario, and one each inAlberta and British Columbia. It plans to open a seventh in Gatineau, Que.,later this year. To boot to data centres, BCE is focusing on providing datahosting services to business customers.

BCE's chiefexecutive officer George Cope has said that data centres - along with theroll-out of Bell's fourth-generation, long-term evolution wireless network; itsnew Internet protocol TV and Internet product called Fibe; and the launch of anew satellite for its legacy TV business - are a key focus for its $3-billioncapital investment in 2012.

The Province of Quebec last year

"We acquiredthe largest business of that kind in the Province of Quebec last year and weplan to be a leader in this space and we think this is a very important growtharea for us going forward."

Q9 alsooffers other services including dedicated servers and virtual privatenetworking. Bidding on the company closed lastweek.

Rivals suchas Rogers Communications Inc. and Telus were as well considered potential buyersfor Q9. One source said Rogers looked in all seriousness at the assets before this yearwhen the process was in its early stages. Other pension funds as well took alook.

Q9, at onetime a openly traded company, is owned by Abry Partners LLC, a private equityfirm that focuses on media, communications and information servicescompanies.

The convenience of having The Globe

Enjoy the convenience of having The Globe and Mail delivered right to your door, your mobile phone and computer. From exclusive content and mobile apps to online tools and loyalty programs, The Globe lets you experience Canada's deepest coverage of national, international, business, and lifestyle news where you want, when you want.

More information: Theglobeandmail