Schneider Electric Buys ASCO Power Business From Vertiv

July 27, 2017
Schneider Electric announced today that it has purchased ASCO Power Technologies from Vertiv for $1.25 billion. ASCO is a leading maker of automatic transfer switches (ATS) for data centers.

ASCO Power Technologies has lots of experience managing smooth transitions. Now it will manage a transition in ownership. Schneider Electric announced today that it has purchased ASCO from Vertiv for $1.25 billion in an all-cash transaction. Meanwhile, Vertiv’s ownership said the proceeds from the sale would enable them to consider a new capital structure.

ASCO’s products play a key role in the data center power chain. The company is a leading maker of automatic transfer switches (ATS) which transfer critical loads from primary power to a backup generation – typically shifting the data center power source from a utility grid to UPS units and generators.

Today’s deal makes Schneider Electric the global leader in the ATS market, the company said. Schneider was already the leading player in the ATS business in China.

“The market for ATS presents attractive long-term growth opportunities as more commercial and industrial customers move towards autonomous or multi-source power management,” Schneider said in a statement. “This trend is driven by a more decentralized power generation world, core to Schneider Electric’s strategic focus. From an end-market perspective, the acquisition further enhances Schneider Electric’s value proposition in the end-to-end Energy Management chain for customers in Healthcare, Financial services, Datacenters and other Critical Buildings.”

Long History in Power Management

ASCO was founded in Baltimore and has a long history in power management, first introducing ATS in 1925 and later expanding into surge protection, load banks for testing and commissioning, and fire pump and control applications. ASCO’s products are sold under the brands of ASCO, Firetrol, Avtron and Froment. ASCO currently employs about 2,000 people, mainly in North America, and operates seven manufacturing sites. ASCO has 2016 revenues of $468 million with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 23 percent.

ASCO has been operating as part of Vertiv, formerly known as Emerson Network Power, which said the deal allows it to sharpen its focus and apply additional resources to its core data center, telecommunications and commercial and industrial markets.

As Vertiv has repositioned itself after being sold to Platinum Equity in November 2016, it became clear that ASCO’s strengths in the automatic transfer switch arena fell outside the new organization’s more focused strategy, said Vertiv CEO Rob Johnson.

“This sale is a significant step forward in our evolution as the premier provider of digital critical infrastructure solutions,” Johnson said. “This is consistent with our strategy of focusing on our customers and aligning the strengths of our organization – deep domain knowledge in IT and facilities applications, global scale and service coverage – to better meet their needs.”

Platinum Equity Partner Jacob Kotzubei said the deal might open strategic alternatives to Vertiv.

“Given the amount of cash proceeds expected to be generated from the sale, we will evaluate a number of capital structure alternatives that would be beneficial to all stakeholders,” said Kotzubei. “Thanks to strong leadership and the commitment of Vertiv employees around the world, the company is performing exceptionally well, and the transformation of the business is right on track. The sale of ASCO will further support those efforts and help Vertiv continue focusing on its core business.”

About the Author

Rich Miller

I write about the places where the Internet lives, telling the story of data centers and the people who build them. I founded Data Center Knowledge, the data center industry's leading news site. Now I'm exploring the future of cloud computing at Data Center Frontier.

Sponsored Recommendations

Get Utility Project Solutions

Lightweight, durable fiberglass conduit provides engineering benefits, performance and drives savings for successful utility project outcomes.

Guide to Environmental Sustainability Metrics for Data Centers

Unlock the power of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting in the data center industry with our comprehensive guide, proposing 28 key metrics across five categories...

The AI Disruption: Challenges and Guidance for Data Center Design

From large training clusters to small edge inference servers, AI is becoming a larger percentage of data center workloads. Learn more.

A better approach to boost data center capacity – Supply capacity agreements

Explore a transformative approach to data center capacity planning with insights on supply capacity agreements, addressing the impact of COVID-19, the AI race, and the evolving...

Photon photo/Shutterstock.com

In the Age of Data Centers, Our Connected Future Still Needs Edge Computing

David Wood, Senior Product Manager – Edge Computing at nVent, explains why edge computing will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of technology.

White Papers

Dcf Venyu Wp Cover 2021 07 12 7 15 51 233x300

The Business Case for Data Center Geo Diversity

July 13, 2022
Geo diversity, or shortening the distance that your data travels, will allow you to reaching your user bases more effectively, and create better customer experiences. This white...