Guardian Sells Data Center Equipment Maker to nVent Electric

Guardian Sells Data Center Equipment Maker to nVent Electric

Maker of rail systems for server racks had $80 million in sales revenue in 2020

CIS’ server rails were developed for IBM in 1998 and its electronics products launched with the buy of Enlogic in December 2015


Publicly traded nVent Electric has acquired electro-mechanical products manufacturer CIS Global from Guardian Capital Partners for approximately $200 million.

CIS is a provider of equipment used in data centers and consumer appliances. In the IT datacenter market, CIS provides both OEM customers and end-use customers server rack mount slides and rack power distribution units. Some of CIS’ consumer appliance parts include sliding oven racks, oven slide rails, oven grates, dishwasher slide rails, and refrigerator slide rails.

Tucson, Arizona-headquartered CIS was founded in 1955 by J.T. Brown as a distributor of industrial products. Over the years, the company evolved into a manufacturer of mechanical assemblies, specializing in rail systems for server racks. CIS developed its first server rails for IBM in 1998 and later added Dell and Hewlett Packard as customers. Later, the company’s server rail systems were adapted for the consumer appliance market and CIS began supplying Whirlpool.

Guardian acquired CIS in May 2015 and later that year added on with the buy of Enlogic, a St. Louis-based maker of power distribution units for computer data centers, and then began designing and manufacturing its first branded and private label electronics products.

“During Guardian’s ownership, the company invested to expand beyond its server rack slides offering to include intelligent power distribution unit capabilities, becoming the largest independent provider of server rack power distribution units globally,” said Scott Evans, a managing partner at Guardian. “The company is well-positioned to meet the increasing demand for data center products and solutions.”

In 2020, CIS had over $80 million in sales revenue, 850 employees, with sales and engineering offices in the United States and Europe, and manufacturing facilities in India, Thailand, and China.

“nVent has a strong vision and approach to business that closely aligns with our core values around customers, innovation and people,” said Shubhayu Chakraborty, the president of CIS Global. “Our portfolio is complementary to nVent’s, which when combined, allows us to bring a greater breadth of solutions to our customers and expands our value proposition to a broader base through an extended global reach.”

nVent (NYSE: NVT) designs, manufactures, markets, installs, and services electrical connection and protection products. The company serves a variety of industries including commercial, residential, energy, industrial, and infrastructure. Founded in 1903, nVent is headquartered in Minneapolis and London and employs just under 9,000 people across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

The buy of CIS marks the second acquisition by nVent this year and follows its April purchase of Houston-based non-metallic enclosures manufacturer Vynckier Enclosure Systems.

Guardian makes control investments in lower middle-market private companies located primarily in the United States that have annual revenues between $20 million and $100 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $9 million. Sectors of interest include consumer products, niche manufacturing, and specialty business services. Guardian was founded in 2008 by managing partners Scott Evans and Peter Haabestad and is headquartered in the Philadelphia suburb of Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Lincoln International was the financial advisor to CIS.

© 2021 Private Equity Professional | July 16, 2021

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