Data Center Power Giant Vertiv Could Be Acquired By Former Honeywell CEO: Report

David Cote, working with Goldman Sachs, seems to be moving to acquire Vertiv, a major developer of data center infrastructure equipment and services formerly known as Emerson Network Power.


Vertiv, the data center infrastructure manufacturer formerly known as Emerson Network Power, could be acquired by a company run by the former CEO of Honeywell in a deal valued at $5 billion.

Reuters Monday reported that GS Acquisition Holdings Corp., which is led by David Cote, former Honeywell International CEO and backed by Goldman Sachs Group, is in talks to acquire Columbus, Ohio-based Vertiv.

Vertiv was formed in late 2016 when Platinum Equity acquired the business formerly known as Emerson Network Power from Emerson in a deal worth over $4 billion.

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Vertiv develops products and services for data center infrastructure including power backup and management systems and software, thermal management, racks and enclosures, and centralized management devices and software.

GS Acquisition Holdings Corp is what's known as a SPAC, or special purpose acquisition company. Sponsored by an affiliate of The Goldman Sachs Group and Cote, the company was formed to pursue mergers, stock purchases, or other combinations with one or more companies in a wide range of industries. The company in June 2018 held an IPO, which raised $690 million.

According to Reuters, GS Acquisition could use a combination of its own cash and debt financing to acquire Vertiv.

However, while talks between the company and Vertiv continue, there is no certainty a deal will be concluded, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

In addition to GS Acquisition, there are other potential bidders looking at Vertiv, Reuters said.

Cote, who worked for General Electric and TRW in the past, served as CEO at Honeywell between 2002 and 2017.