Q9 Networks Sold to Group of Investors

Canadian Web hosting provider Q9 Networks will have new owners by way of a consortium of investors once the sale of the company is complete in a few months. Heading up the investors is well known telecommunications provider BCE According to news reports, BCE put together the best offer which was good enough to beat out both Telus and Rogers Communications. Q9 Networks is being sold ABRY Partners, a private equity firm that purchase Q9 back in 2008.

Published reports indicate the selling price to be approximately $1.06 billion. Joining  BCE in the investment are American private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners as well as the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. All three will combine to provide $420 million while BCE contributes an additional $180 million. The remainder of the acquisition will be paid for through debt financing already lined up by Q9.

According to Q9 CEO Osama Arafat, the BCE acquisition is good for his company because “they recognize the value of Q9 and its team.” Arafat and COO Paul Sharpe will both continue on in their current positions once the acquisition is complete. That’s expected to happen later this year after approval by the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Currently Q9 Networks operates 11 data centres located primarily in Western Canada. They will add to the six centres BCE already owns in Québec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. BCE plans to open another data centre in Gatineau, Québec before the year is out.

The acquisition of Q9 Networks is in keeping with BCE’s overall goals of expansion through acquisition. In 2010 the company acquired the web hosting division of Hypertec Availability Services.

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