The FTSE 100 industrial conglomerate Melrose Industries has sold Nortek Air Management, which builds cooling systems to help data centres reduce water and electricity usage, for £2.6 billion.
The US-based business, which is being sold to Madison Industries in Chicago, was put up for sale in September.
Melrose said that it would return some of the proceeds from the sale to shareholders after making a £100 million contribution to the GKN UK defined benefit pension schemes and reducing debts.
Simon Peckham, chief executive of Melrose, said: “On our watch, our air management executive team has created a business from scratch with exemplary environmental credentials which will make a real difference to energy and water consumption in its market. We can now hand that technology to a high-quality buyer with specialist aspirations and skills.
“We are continuing to show that it is possible to make great returns for shareholders while looking after pensioners and answering the environmental demands of the modern world.”