GE Invests $520M in Green Data Center Technologies

GE Invests $520M in Green Data Center Technologies

General Electric (GE) is seeking to boost the energy efficiency of the burgeoning smartphone, cloud computing and data center markets, after revealing plans to buy a power conversion technology company for $520m (£328m).

GE Energy yesterday announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Lineage Power from private equity firm The Gores Group for approximately $520 million, bolstering the conglomerate's presence in the fast-expanding market for energy-efficient technology.

The deal is also driven by a predicted boom in the smartphone market and is slated to close in the first calendar quarter of the year. The two companies will then collaborate on a wide range of clean tech-related technologies, including batteries, cooling, data centers, electric vehicles, lighting and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) markets.

Texas-based Lineage currently makes energy-efficient energy supply equipment for data centers and towers used in cloud computing and internet mobile services.

Dan Heintzelman, GE Energy Services president and chief executive, said GE wants to take advantage of the "explosive" growth in mobile internet demand driven by 3G and 4G/LTE wireless networks, which enable products such as the Amazon Kindle, Apple iPhone and iPad, and Google Android.

"According to recent studies, there will be 1.1 billion smartphones sold globally by 2013," he said. "Every new mobile device plugs into an infrastructure that requires an ever-increasing amount of high-quality power. As the data-driven economy grows, the addition of Lineage Power's business platform continues the expansion of GE Energy's offerings from the electric grid to data centers, cell towers, routers, servers and circuit board electronics."

The deal is GE's latest attempt to expand its $40bn energy services portfolio, and follows hot on the heels of its agreement to acquire energy infrastructure company Dresser and the announcement plans to buy British oil pipe manufacturer Wellstream.

Earlier this week GE also stepped up its push into the smart grid sector by shelling out an undisclosed sum to acquire UK-based smart meter specialist Remote Energy Monitoring (REM).

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