Vertiv

If 2020 was strange, the start of 2021 with Washington locked down as Capitol Hill was all but looted takes it to another level. No wonder the Queen, via Twitter, officially cancelled the year after just one week. That said, for active managers, the performance clock is reset, which means ideas. New ideas. Preferably ideas the market is not talking about. One rich seam to mine then, for those with the time and the patience, is businesses within businesses; those hidden gems whose potential is veiled by a larger corporate structure. Take Vertiv. Vertiv was once part of industrial titan Emerson’s near $50bn market cap, but was bought out by private equity in 2016. The business is now listed, and is run by the revered Honeywell CEO, David Cote, a man President Obama singled out as a go to call on any sticky corporate matter. The man has form, and skin in the game. Look him up. Vertiv is a full service provider of critical infrastructure to data centre and communications customers. Think Amazon, Google. Equinix, J.P Morgan and AT&T. The bull case for data centres in a 5G connected world is well aired, and Vertiv is the market leader in providing the infrastructure. Peers who trade at far richer multiples include the big conglomerates Schneider, Legrand and Eaton. Vertiv, though, is the only pure play. Yes, this is a capex driven business and there is not much financial history to go on, which might temper sentiment; but in a market that looks richly valued on a headline level, companies like Vertiv that have been hiding within bigger businesses and are off the radar, look increasingly compelling.