Brand name CEO David Cote partnered with investment bank Goldman Sachs to create GS Acquisition Holdings Corp., a publicly traded vehicle operating with Cote as its Executive Chairman. In a new and “defining” deal, the SPAC acquired Veritiv: the global leader in industrial cooling and IT infrastructure.
Vertiv sells condensers, chillers, IT racks and power distributors to data centers, helping them stay cool enough to keep running. In 2016, the industrial giant—who counts Google and Amazon as clients— was purchased by Platinum Equity Partners, a private equity firm that loaded the company with billions in debt. By 2019, the debt pile had grown to 3.6 billion and its bonds were trading below 95 cents on the dollar. “Credit analysts expected free cash flow would be negative through 2020,” Forbes reports.
This time around, Veritiv is being purchased by Goldman Sachs and one of the industrial sector’s top performing CEOs: David Cote. The legendary leader, who turned Honeywell around in a record 15 years, believes that Vertiv is operating below its potential. “This company is like two-to-three years along the 15-year path that Honeywell was on,” Cote explained. “The foundational work is done, and there is a lot of upside possible if you can get the operations right.”
In a statement, Platinum Equity billionaire Tom Gores said, “David Cote will bolster an already strong leadership team and with this transaction Vertiv is well-positioned to execute on the many opportunities ahead.”
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