Johnson Controls acquires FM Systems for $455m

  • July 24, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Johnson Controls has acquired FM Systems, a North Carolina-based digital workplace management and IoT provider for facilities and real estate professionals.

The base purchase price for the transaction is $455m, plus additional payments to be made subject to the achievement of post-closing earnout milestones. 

“FM Systems’ powerful, predictive workplace management platform will build on our best-in-class building automation services, OpenBlue, to offer a one-stop to help customers accelerate their digital transformation journey, improve building efficiency and reduce operational costs,” said Johnson Controls CEO George Oliver. “Coupled with our building assets, energy management offerings and global field network, this acquisition further differentiates Johnson Controls’ leadership in the fast-growing segment for autonomous and digitally enabled buildings.”

FM Systems, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, and owned by Accel-KKR, has more than 200 employees and 1200 customers, representing more than 2.4 million users across 80 countries. The company has earned a loyal customer base, achieving a greater than 110% average net revenue retention since 2020. A specialist in the digital workplace industry, FM Systems has had double-digit revenue growth with gross and operating margins that are accretive to Johnson Controls.

“Workplace management technology is a key enabler in terms of improving operational efficiency, creating safer, healthier and smarter buildings, and supporting sustainability goals,” said Dean Jacobson, managing director of Accel-KKR. “Since our investment in 2017, FM Systems has become a leader in this space with continued innovation and service excellence, leading to a strong growth profile. We are proud of the success accomplished together with the talented team at FM Systems, and we are pleased to see how well FM Systems fits into and expands Johnson Controls OpenBlue digital capabilities in pursuit of a shared vision to lead in the future of autonomous and connected buildings.”

FM Systems’ software products can make workspaces smarter, such as with space-scenario planning, asset management and facilities maintenance, supported by security protocols, floor plan scenario modelling, bi-direction integration with AutoCAD and Revit models, and workplace analytics capabilities.

Improving the experience of everyone inside, from visitors to occupants to building managers, its sensors and analytics can help portfolio managers optimise space, realise greater cost savings, and help manage and report on indoor air and other environmental data in facilities as diverse as commercial real estate, hospitals, universities and government buildings.

FM Systems’ capabilities should strengthen Johnson Controls OpenBlue suite of software, which uses artificial intelligence and digital twin technologies to improve building performance, while making buildings smarter and healthier.

Buildings collectively account for nearly 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The added expertise of FM Systems should improve Johnson Controls’ net zero building technologies globally, while strengthening long-term relationships with existing customers and creating opportunities to meet demand in the fast-growing smart building segment.

FM Systems CEO Kurt von Koch will join Johnson Controls’ digital business.

The acquisition is not expected to impact Johnson Controls’ 2023 fiscal year financial outlook.

Centerview Partners served as financial advisor and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton served as legal advisor to Johnson Controls on the transaction. Moelis and Raymond James acted as financial advisors, and Goodwin Procter as legal advisor to FM Systems.