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Bell to sell 13 data centre sites to Equinix for $1.04B

Multinational global centre owner/operator Equinix Inc. (EQIX-Q) has an agreement to spend $1.04...

IMAGE: The Bell data centre in Winnipeg, which is being acquired by Equinix as part of a 13-site portfolio. (Courtesy Bell/BCE)

The Bell data centre in Winnipeg, which is being acquired by Equinix as part of a 13-site portfolio. (Courtesy Bell/BCE)

Multinational global centre owner/operator Equinix Inc. (EQIX-Q) has an agreement to spend $1.04 billion (all figures Cdn) to acquire 13 data centres across Canada from BCE Inc. (BCE-T).

The all-cash transaction remains subject to regulatory and other approvals and is scheduled to close later in 2020. 

The 13 data centre sites in the acquisition comprise 25 Bell data centre facilities. Equinix, which is headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., says the additions will increase its presence to almost 225 data centres in 62 metro markets across five continents.

“Our partnership with Equinix will further accelerate digital transformation opportunities for Canadian enterprise customers,” said Bell Business Markets president Tom Little in a release, “combining access to Equinix’s interconnected global data centre platform with Bell’s advanced broadband network connections, wide range of cloud solutions and experienced professional services team.”

The acquisition will expand Equinix’s coverage in Canada from coast to coast.

Seven new Equinix markets

In addition to adding new capacity in Toronto where Equinix currently operates two International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, it will extend Equinix’s services to seven new metros: Calgary; Kamloops and Vancouver; Millidgeville, N.B.; Montreal; Ottawa; and Winnipeg.

Bell will continue to own and operate five other Canadian data centres in its network central offices in CalgaryHalifaxSaint JohnSt. John’s and Toronto.

Meyers said Equinix is attracted to the expanding Canadian cloud market.

“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, in the release.

“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.”

The acquisition adds more than 600 customers to Equinix’s global platform. More than 500 are new to Equinix, and span a wide variety of sectors and business segments, including enterprise, cloud and IT, government and financial services.

In the release, Equinix says the acquisition offers numerous benefits, including:

* increasing interconnection within Canada, and between Canada and the rest of the world;

* opening seven new metros in six provinces to extend the digital edge of Platform Equinix;

* and adding key customers in strategic sectors to further increase the value of the ecosystem available at Equinix.

1.2 million square feet of data centre space

“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,” Meyers said in the release.

The 13 data centres, six of which are owned assets, will add approximately 1.2 million gross square feet of data centre 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 acquisition of these 13 strategic assets further extends the depth and breadth of Equinix’s global platform, which currently spans 26 countries and 55 metros,” said Jon Lin, president, Americas, for Equinix in the release.

“It will position Equinix as a market leader for data centre and interconnection services in Canada, with high-quality assets from coast to coast and a large, diversified ecosystem of Canadian businesses.

“Additionally, it opens key gateways for North America to Asia through Vancouver and North America to Europe through the submarine cable systems in the Millidgeville area.”


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