Johnson Controls Set to Acquire Silent-Aire to Expand HVAC Portfolio

May 15, 2021 by Seth Price

Johnson Controls announced that it is in the process of purchasing Silent-Aire.

The purchase is expected to be completed by the third fiscal quarter of this year, with an upfront cash price of 630 million USD and a total price of 870 million USD. 

George Oliver, chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls, stated in a press release, “This acquisition perfectly aligns with several of our key strategic growth initiatives and underscores our focus on creating shareholder value.” Co-CEO of Silent-Aire, Lindsey Lecket, also recognizes the value in the purchase. “Johnson Controls shares our vision to scale the Data Center Platform business, which will enable us to serve our partners globally.”


Johnson Controls air distribution system. Image used courtesy of Johnson Controls


From its origins in 1885, Johnson Controls has developed ways to effectively use power and natural resources. Their early days were spent developing ways to improve the efficiency of heating and electrical power. Today, the tools and methods have changed, but the goal has not. 

Johnson Controls still works to optimize power usage in residential, commercial, and industrial environments. The company designs HVAC, industrial refrigeration, fire detection and suppression equipment, building automation and control, and many other products. Johnson Controls has touched virtually every manufacturing industry in one way or another. 


About Silent-Aire

Since 1994, Silent-Aire has produced numerous air handling systems, particularly for data center cooling. Their product line includes computer room air conditioning units (CRAU) and computer room air handling units (CRAHU). 


The Silent-Aire MDC Vault Micro can be deployed quickly and contains all necessary infrastructure to keep data secure. Image used courtesy of Silent-Aire


Cooling is made possible through chilled water circulation, free air circulation, evaporative cooling, and mechanical refrigeration (direct expansion). Silent-Aire also maintains a laboratory for testing cooling methods and has developed novel cooling techniques for data centers.


The Move to the Edge Benefits Silent-Aire

Silent-Aire is a growing business today, thanks to the effort to move data off-site and onto the cloud. With the pandemic and the shift from office buildings to home offices, many companies are switching from in-house computing and data storage to cloud-based systems. Server farms that support cloud-based applications must find ways to keep their servers cool, and utility costs are one of their larger expenses. 

Furthermore, Silent-Aire is one of the industry leaders in hyperscale technology: the ability of a facility to rapidly scale up its computing and data handling power. They created a solution to adding computing power without simply adding more computers. Instead, the company designed a modular system that can be upgraded without massive reconfiguration or being built haphazardly.

As Johnson Controls completes the sale and acquires Silent-Aire, they will now have a stake in the rapidly-expanding market of hyperscale technology. They will acquire a growing market share in modular data centers (MDCs) and computer room air handling (CRAH), which are required for any business that needs cloud-based storage and processing power.