By Christine Dobby The Globe and Mail
Quebecor Inc. is deepening its commitment to the business market with a $125-million deal to acquire Fibrenoire, a fibre-optic connectivity company.
Videotron Ltd., Quebecor’s wholly owned telecommunications subsidiary, announced the transaction on Thursday, saying it acquired all the shares held by Fibrenoire’s founding owners as well as those of its majority shareholder, private equity fund Novacap TMT.
The Fibrenoire deal is in line with Quebecor CFO Jean-François Pruneau’s comments in September that the company’s acquisition focus on the telecom side would be in the business services market. Last year, Videotron bought Quebec City data centre business 4Degrees Colocation for $31.5-million and said it would invest $40-million in a 4,000-square-metre data centre in Montreal.
Montreal-based Fibrenoire operates a 4,500-kilometre fibre-optic network in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City and provides Internet and other business-related connectivity services to more than 1,000 clients in those cities.
Videotron CEO Manon Brouillette said in a statement on Thursday that the 4Degrees acquisition and the Fibrenoire deal “position us to meet growing business needs for cloud computing and connectivity, two highly complementary market segments.”