Equinix Expands Canadian Holdings With $750M Deal

The company plans to buy 25 facilities at 13 Bell data center sites in eight metros, including Toronto and Montreal.
Bell Data Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Image courtesy of Equinix

Global data center company Equinix is expanding its Canadian operations with the planned $750 million acquisition of 25 facilities at 13 Bell data center sites in Toronto and seven new metros in six provinces—Calgary, Alberta; Kamloops and Vancouver, British Columbia; Millidgeville, New Brunswick; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Ottawa, Ontario; and Montreal in Quebec.

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Equinix, based in Redwood City, Calif., said the acquisition will expand its coverage in Canada coast to coast and make it a market leader in data center and interconnection services. It will also further strengthen the company’s global platform, which currently includes more than 210 data centers across 55 metros. The company currently operates two International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Toronto but the expansion across Canada unlocks opportunities for Canadian businesses to expand internationally and for multinational corporations to pursue growth and innovation in Canada.

Under the terms of the all-cash transaction, Equinix and Bell will begin a strategic partnership to enable enterprises in Canada to leverage hybrid multicloud solutions to accelerate their digital transformation. Bell will continue to own and operate five other data centers that are located in its network central offices in Calgary, Halifax, Saint John, St. John’s and Toronto. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2020. Citi and J.P. Morgan acted as financial advisors to Equinix.

Officials react

Mirko Bibic, president & CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, said in a prepared statement the deal reinforces Bell’s strategy to focus investment on the network infrastructure, content and services to help Canadians connect with each other and the world. He said as part of the deal Bell Business Markets becomes the first Equinix Platinum Partner in Canada, which will provide Bell enterprise clients with full access to the international scale of Equinix’s advanced integrated network and cloud solutions. Bell is Canada’s largest communications company, with more than 22 million consumer and business connections. It provides advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet and business communication services. It is wholly owned by BCE Inc.

Calling it a significant win for Canadian businesses and multinational companies, Charles Meyers, president & CEO of Equinix, said in prepared remarks Equinix will enable the businesses across Canada to increase scale, reach and connectivity as they evolve their operations to be increasingly digital and cloud-enabled.

Jon Lin, president, Americas, for Equinix, said the acquisition opens key gateways for North America to Asia through Vancouver and North America to Europe through the submarine cable systems in the Millidgeville area.

More global deals

The Canadian definitive agreement comes about two months after Equinix and GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, agreed to form an initial joint venture worth more than $1 billion to develop and operate data centers in Japan. GIC will own 80 percent equity in the limited liability partnership with Equinix owning the remaining 20 percent. The partnership covers three initial facilities—two in Tokyo and one in Osaka—that will total about 138MW of power capacity. Equinix is expected to transfer its Tokyo TY12 and Osaka OS2 development assets along with development rights and land for an additional Tokyo data center. The deal is also expected to close in the second half of 2020.

In October, Equinix bought three data centers in Mexico for $175 million. In January 2019, the company began work on an IBX data center in Seoul, marking its first facility in South Korea and 41st in Asia-Pacific.