Emerson Acquires Avocent in $1.2B Deal

Emerson (EMR) will acquire infrastructure management specialist Avocent Corporation (AVCT) for $1.2 billion in a deal that highlights the growing focus on tools to help data center operators track and manage the energy efficiency of their facilities. Avocent’s board unanimously endorsed Emerson’s all-cash tender offer of $25 per share, the companies said this morning. Shares of Avocent closed Monday at $20.52.

Emerson is a leading vendor of power and cooling technologies for the data center. The acquisition of Avocent allows Emerson to continue to enhance its offerings for tracking and managing data center assets, following on last year’s purchase of Aperture, which makes capacity planning software. Emerson’s data center-related revenues were approximately $2.6 billion in fiscal 2008.

“Combining Avocent’s technologies, relationships and installed base with Emerson’s power and cooling presence allows us to offer a more compelling solution to our data center customers’ most pressing challenge – energy efficiency,” said David N. Farr, Emerson chairman, CEO and president. “It furthers our customers’ ability to better manage reliability, availability and lifecycle costs through a simple yet comprehensive view of the complete data center physical infrastructure.”

Avocent’s data center management solutions blend hardware, software and embedded technologies in a unified platform that simplifies monitoring, managing and problem solving in any size data center. The company is headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, and had sales in 2008 of $657 million. Significantly, nearly 50 percent of Avocent’s 2008 revenues came from outside the United States.

“Augmenting Avocent’s ability to access and control the physical aspects of network devices and servers with information and knowledge of the broader power and cooling infrastructure forms a powerful combination missing today from the toolset available to data center managers,” said Mike Borman, Avocent’s CEO.

The purchase is expected to close around January 1, pending approvals from regulators and Avocent stockholders.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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