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Johnson Controls and Tyco merge in Smart Buildings move

William Payne
February 2, 2016
 

In a move that Johnson Controls says will create a global leader uniquely positioned in buildings and energy platforms, the company is merging with Irish based fire and security firm Tyco.  The merged company, to be called Johnson Controls PLC, will have combined revenue of $32 billion after the completion of the ongoing spin out of Johnson subsidiaries. The new company is being being hailed as a potential smart buildings leader.

Controversially, the new company has decided to locate its headquarters in Ireland, although its operational centre will remain Milwaukee. This has raised claims in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times that the deal is an “inversion”, designed to bring shareholders tax benefits.

Johnson Control has been restructuring to focus on intelligent building, smart home and smart city infrastructure technologies.

According to Johnson Controls, the combined company brings together best-in-class product, technology and service capabilities across controls, fire, security, HVAC, power solutions and energy storage, to serve various end-markets including large institutions, commercial buildings, retail, industrial, small business and residential.  The company sees the merger with Tyco creating immediate opportunities for near-term growth through cross-selling, complementary branch and channel networks, and expanded global reach for established businesses.

The new company also aims to grow by combining innovation capabilities and pipelines involving new products, advanced solutions for smart buildings and cities, value-added services driven by advanced data and analytics and connectivity between buildings and energy storage through infrastructure integration. As a result, the new company aims to better partner with its customers to help improve their overall performance and operations, enhancing the experience for their own customers in areas such as comfort, safety and accessibility. In addition, the combined company will have one of the largest energy storage platforms with capabilities including traditional lead acid as well as advanced lithium ion battery technology serving the global energy storage market.

Johnson Controls is in the midst of a strategic transformation with the aim of becoming a top-quartile multi-industrial company with leadership in attractive spaces connected to core growth platforms in buildings and energy storage. This focus has resulted in significant portfolio changes over the past few years including the divestiture of its Automotive Electronics and Interiors and Global Workplace Solutions businesses, as well as the acquisition of Air Distribution Technologies and the formation of Johnson Controls - Hitachi joint venture.  The company announced in July 2015 that it is planning to spin off Adient at the beginning of fiscal year 2017.

Under the terms of the proposed transaction, the businesses of Johnson Controls and Tyco will be combined under Tyco International plc, which will be renamed "Johnson Controls plc." The companies expect that shares of the combined company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the "JCI" ticker.  Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company is expected to maintain Tyco's Irish legal domicile and global headquarters in Cork, Ireland. The primary operational headquarters in North America for the combined company will be in Milwaukee, where Johnson Controls has been based.

Pro forma for the transaction and separation of Adient, Johnson Controls is expected to have approximately $32 billion of revenue in fiscal year 2016 and $4.5 billion of EBITDA before synergies. Adient is expected to have approximately $16.6 billion of revenue in fiscal year 2016 and $1.6 billion of EBITDA. In addition, Adient is expected to distribute between $2.5 to $3.5 billion to Johnson Controls in conjunction with the spin-off.

The new company expects to deliver at least $500 million in operational synergies over the first three years after closing. These annual cost synergies are expected to be achieved by increasing efficiencies, eliminating redundancies, integrating the global branch networks, and leveraging the combined scale of an over $20 billion buildings business platform. In addition, the transaction is expected to create at least $150 million in annual tax synergies.  

Johnson Controls shareholders will own approximately 56 percent of the equity of the combined company and receive aggregate cash consideration of approximately $3.9 billion. Tyco shareholders will own approximately 44 percent of the equity of the combined company. The exchange ratio represents a 13 percent premium to Tyco shareholders based on 30-day volume-weighted average prices and an 11 percent premium based on share prices as of the close of market on Jan. 22, 2016, assuming that each share of the combined company has a value equal to one Johnson Controls share. Given their ownership of the combined company, both Tyco and Johnson Controls shareholders will participate in the substantial value-creation opportunities presented by $650 million in synergies, plus incremental upside from revenue growth acceleration.

"The proposed combination of Johnson Controls and Tyco represents the next phase of our transformation to become a leading global multi-industrial company," stated Alex Molinaroli, chairman and chief executive officer, Johnson Controls. "With its world-class fire and security businesses, Tyco aligns with and enhances the Johnson Controls buildings platform and further positions all of our businesses for global growth.  Through this transaction, we will also expand our ability to further invest globally, develop new innovative solutions for customers and return capital to shareholders."

"The combination of Tyco and Johnson Controls is a highly strategic, value-enhancing step that brings together the unique strengths of two great companies to deliver best-in-class building technologies and services to customers around the world," said George R. Oliver, chief executive officer, Tyco. "We believe this transaction will allow us to better capture opportunities created by increased connectivity in homes, buildings and cities. Joining forces with Johnson Controls pairs our leading established businesses with robust innovation pipelines and extensive global footprints to deliver greater value to customers, shareholders and employees of both companies."