Global data center colocation company Equinix has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a portfolio of 13 data centers across Canada from Bell for $750 million (CA$1,041 million) in an all-cash transaction. The 13 data center sites, which represent 25 Bell data center facilities, are expected to generate approximately $105 million (CA$150 million) annualized revenue for Equinix.
The 13 acquired data centers, six of which are owned assets, will add approximately 1.2 million gross square feet of data center space and 400,000 square feet of colocation space to Platform Equinix. The facilities will also provide a platform for future expansion in Canada.
The addition of these data centers and the more than 600 customers operating within the facilities would further strengthen Equinix’s global platform, which currently includes more than 210 data centers across 55 metros.
The acquisition will expand Equinix’s coverage in Canada coast to coast. In addition to adding new capacity in Toronto, Ontario, where Equinix currently operates two International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers, it will extend Equinix’s colocation and interconnection services to seven new metros. These metros include Calgary, Alberta; Kamloops and Vancouver, British Columbia; Millidgeville, New Brunswick; Montreal, Quebec; Ottawa, Ontario; and Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020 subject to customary closing conditions including regulatory approval.
Equinix and Bell have also signed a strategic partnership with plans to deliver integrated networking and hybrid multicloud services, both directly and through the combined partner ecosystems of the two companies. The joint offering will combine Bell’s telecommunications services and technology expertise with Equinix’s global platform of interconnected data centers and business ecosystems.
“Our new partnership with Equinix, built on the strength of Bell’s network, cloud service innovation and experienced professional services team, combined with Equinix’s global platform of interconnected data centers and business ecosystem, will deliver a superior customer experience for our Canadian enterprise clients,” said Tom Little, President of Bell Business Markets. “We look forward to working together to enhance the reach of our customers’ growing global digital operations while ensuring Canada remains a world leader in digital transformation.”
Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric
Over time, Equinix plans to introduce Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) to all 13 data centers. ECX Fabric is an on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service that allows any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and any other company’s distributed infrastructure, including the world’s largest network service and cloud providers, on Platform Equinix.
“Canadian businesses are in the midst of a significant transformation as they evolve their operations to be increasingly digital and cloud-enabled,” said Charles Meyers, President and CEO of Equinix. “With a platform that enables companies to increase the scale, reach and connectivity of their growing digital businesses, Equinix provides a compelling vision for businesses to rapidly and broadly interconnect with the people, locations, cloud services and data that matter most to their business. This expansion is a significant win for Canadian businesses, as well as for multinational companies that can leverage Platform Equinix to increase their digital presence in Canada by interconnecting to a rich ecosystem of customers, business partners and other strategic companies in Canada.”
Canada’s largest communications company with more than 22 million consumer and business connections, Bell provides advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE (TSX,NYSE: BCE).
“This transaction reinforces Bell’s strategy to focus investment on the network infrastructure, content and services necessary to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world,” said Mirko Bibic, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. “Equinix, with its expanding platform of data centers here in Canada and worldwide, is well-positioned to maximize the opportunities these facilities represent for Canadian businesses in an increasingly global and interconnected data sector.”
“Our strategic redeployment of capital further underscores Bell’s commitment to champion customer experience by leading investment in communications networks and services, especially as Canada manages and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis,” added Mr. Bibic. “As part of ensuring a seamless customer experience for our enterprise clients, we are also pleased to announce today a partnership between Bell Business Markets and the Equinix Platform of global data center services.”