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Johnson Controls in $870m deal for Silent-Aire

IRELAND: Johnson Controls has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian data centre cooling company Silent-Aire in a deal worth up to $870m.

With headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, Silent-Aire is a global leader in hyperscale data centre cooling and modular critical infrastructure solutions. It specialises in the design, engineering and manufacturing of mission critical custom air handlers and modular data centres for hyperscale cloud and co-location providers.

The deal will include an upfront payment of approximately $630m and additional payments to be made subject to the achievement of post-closing earn-out milestones.

Silent-Aire’s revenue for the fiscal year to the end of May 2021 is expected to reach approximately $650m. A recent report on data centre thermal management by research company Omdia recorded Silent-Aire as the leading air handling unit company with a 43% global market share in 2019.

“With Silent-Aire, Johnson Controls has a significant opportunity to increase our focus on the data centre vertical and accelerate growth in this attractive end market by combining the strengths of our global scale in manufacturing and service, with leading-edge innovation and a broad portfolio of technologies dedicated to serving hyperscale providers,” said George Oliver, Johnson Controls chairman and CEO. 

The continuous migration of applications to the cloud (SaaS) has resulted in unprecedented demand for computing power and the rapid expansion of data centre infrastructure. Over the last several years, this trend has overwhelmingly favoured the development of hyperscale cloud and co-location facilities. 

“Silent-Aire grew up with the cloud and our DNA translates what it means to be a hyperscale data centre company,” said Silent-Aire co-CEO Lindsey Leckelt who, with his brother Dan, took on the leadership and strategic direction of Silent-Aire in early 2000.

“Being an innovative partner with early adopters, we broke through traditional design barriers that pushed energy initiatives in what led to how most hyperscale data centres are cooled and engineered today,” he continued. 

In addition to its Edmonton global HQ, Silent-Aire has bases in Gilbert, Arizona, and Dublin, Ireland. It has approximately 3,000 employees globally. 

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