Janus International, the leading global provider of building solutions and access control technologies for the self-storage and other industrial sectors, is adding to 2020’s growing list of companies planning to go public in deals with blank check companies.
With an expected pro forma enterprise valuation of $1.9 billion, the Temple, Georgia-based Janus, which was acquired by Clearlake Capital in 2018, will list on the New York Stock Exchange (trading under the ticker ‘JBI’) in a merger with Juniper Industrial Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company founded by Honeywell veterans.
The deal is being financed through $348 million of cash held in Juniper’s trust account and a $250 million PIPE transaction, with investors including Baron Capital Group and Fidelity as well as Dave Cote, former chairman and CEO of Honeywell. Existing Janus shareholders are expected to own approximately 51% of the Company at closing, while Juniper founders are expected to own approximately 5%.
The late-December move represents yet another 2020 deal by once-obscure SPACs, which became the hottest ticket in mergers and acquisitions this year and are seen as a sign of renewed deal-making confidence going into 2021. According to SPAC Insider, 243 SPACs were introduced this year, four times the number raised last year, according to SPAC Insider. The average size of a SPAC in 2020 was $335 million, nearly 10 times the amount in 2009. Other SPAC deals announced in recent weeks include proptech company Open Door Labs and fintech firm Katapult.
Janus, which serves over 10,000 customers worldwide in a market with a high percentage of aging facilities that demand extensive upgrades and modernization (60% of self-storage facilities are more than 20 years old), is known for its comprehensive line of rollup doors, swing doors, hallway systems and relocatable storage units, as well as a nationwide manufacturing and installation network. But it has also increased its technology-focused access control product offerings, through its 2018 acquisition of high-tech smart lock provider Noke, Inc. — opening up in a nascent, largely untapped market for smart facilities and wireless management technology.
The company, which owns 50% of the self-storage market, was challenged by projects delayed due to Covid-19, but the pandemic also created some tailwinds, including the growth of e-commerce and the resulting footprint increase for one of its other big end markets, commercial warehouses.
According to Janus International CEO and self-storage industry veteran Ramey Jackson, the company has doubled its revenue over the past five years, with a three-year revenue growth of 92 percent. In an interview with Forbes, Jackson said going public would yield improved capital structure and enhance future growth plans (the company projects a three-year-forward organic growth rate of approximately 10%).
“We felt like becoming a public company was a natural evolution for Janus, given the strength of our platform, the growth opportunities, as well as leadership,” he said. “Certainly the SPAC deal offered advantages around timing and in Juniper, we found a great partner that can fundamentally accelerate our growth.”
On an investor call, Roger Fradin, chairman of Juniper Industrial Holdings, said that Janus’ market position as a resilient and high-growth building products company is “unrivaled” and was on a short list of highly-attractive industrial opportunities when the SPAC was formed. “They have a strong track record of above-market organic growth, industry-leading margins and a rapidly increasing client base as the sole acquirer of choice in a fragmented market,” he said.
Juniper Industrial Holdings had raised $345 million in its initial public offering in November 2019. It was incorporated as a blank check company in Delaware in September 2019.