Posted By : | Date : 04-12-2018

Pivot acquires WideBlue

We’re excited to announce that our parent company, Pivot International, recently acquired WideBlue, an engineering firm in Glasgow, Scotland, that specializes in digital optics and imaging technology.

20 years ago, WideBlue was a division of Polaroid’s European Design Center. The company’s 15 engineers helped develop the popular new Polaroid cameras with built-in digital printing. Their expertise is a welcome addition the Pivot team.

Pivot International CEO Mark Dohnalek said WideBlue adds to the company’s overall engineering capability, bringing it to 50 engineers. Pivot now has about 400 employees around the globe. “Optics are a pretty specific technical area, and not that many companies can do that,” Dohnalek told the Kansas City Business Journal.

It’s very much a niche in the engineering world. It’s why a lot of times those camera systems are expensive because it’s pretty technical stuff. It also ties into Internet of Things products, which use a lot of optics. Optical engineers can help Pivot develop products for areas including identification management and border security, outdoor engagement, police surveillance, body cameras, security systems and medical products.

WideBlue is Pivot’s fifth acquisition in the past 24 months. In January 2016, the company bought Independence-based Mid-Continent Custom Electronics, followed by the acquisition of Shawnee-based DigitTron in March 2016, Lenexa-based Avatar Engineering in May 2017 and Omaha-based Electronic Design and Manufacturing in September 2017. Those last four acquisitions focused on building up Pivot’s manufacturing capabilities in the U.S., where the company now has approximately 90,000 square feet of manufacturing. It has about 75,000 square feet of manufacturing in Asia and the Philippines.

Now, Pivot is shifting its attention to Europe. “We really need a larger footprint in Europe,” Dohnalek said. “We previously had about 25 people in Europe, just a few key people. Adding WideBlue gives us 15 more engineers, building a nice foothold for further growth in Europe. We’ll probably do another acquisition in Europe down the road. I see Europe being a strong employment center for us to serve that market.

Pivot International has been growing rapidly, with revenue up 82.4% in just the last three years, ranking Pivot as the area’s 11th fastest-growing company, according to the Kansas City Business Journal List. The company subsidiaries include:

  • DigitTron Technologies
  • Avatar Engineering
  • MCC Electronics
  • Electronic Design and Manufacturing (EDM)
  • Pivot – UK
  • Pivot-Hawk in Manila
  • Pivot – Shenzhen
  • Pivot – Hong Kong
  • Pivot – Taiwan

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