BCE Inc. and three other institutional investors have joined forces to buy Web hosting service provider Q9 Networks for C$1.1 billion.

BCE will contribute C$180 million for a 30 percent stake, while the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, private equity firms Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC will provide $420 million for the remaining 70 percent ownership.

Q9, which is headquartered in downtown Toronto, owns and operates 11 data centers in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The Web hosting provider will remain as an independent business and key executives including CEO, Osama Arafat, and President and COO Paul Sharpe will stay on with the company.

Tom Little, President of Bell Business Markets said: "Q9 is a recognized leader in data centre services for business customers large and small, an ideal partner to grow our hosting and cloud-based business while leveraging our world-leading broadband network infrastructure."

Little continues: "Bell looks forward to working with our partners and to offering our national business customer base access to Q9's hosting and co-location services while delivering Bell's broadband network solutions to Q9's extensive client roster."

BCE recently agreed to buy Astral Media for about $3 billion - a deal that received an overwhelming 99.8 percent shareholder endorsement on May 24th.

Three of Canada's leading banks, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank will look after debt financing.

BMO Capital Markets and TD Securities will serve as financial advisors to Q9 Networks while the investment group will receive financial advice from Barclays, Evercore Partners, and RBC Capital Markets.

Discuss this further in our Bell Canada Phone and Internet forum.