Pivot International Acquires Solar Pool | O'Keeffe & O'Malley

Pivot International Acquires Solar Pool

Jun 10, 2020

Pivot International continues its aggressive growth strategy, this time acquiring Solar Pool Technologies Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The Phoenix-based company owns a product called Solar Breeze, which is a solar-powered robot that skims pools. It's kind of like a Roomba, but for your pool.

Pivot International, which is based in Lenexa, has been working with Solar Pool for about three years now, doing the modification engineering and manufacturing for Solar Breeze. Pivot CEO Mark Dohnalek said the company needed capital to refresh its products, and he saw it an opportunity to acquire another consumer goods company to diversify Pivot beyond its engineering, global sourcing and manufacturing roots.

Pivot acquired Olathe-based Castle Creations Inc. in October, its first consumer goods producer, and Dohnalek said it worked out well, encouraging him to look for similar types of companies to add to the fold.

"We were in solar already, so Solar Pool didn't give us a lot of new technology there, but it does have some unique marine technology and software that they have patents on," Dohnalek said. "They had some proprietary software that allows the solar power and sensors to work, helping it know where it's been and where it's going. So we got some patent know-how that we'll be able to use in this segment."

Dohnalek said Pivot already has a prototype of a next-generation product that he expects to release next year. They also plan to create a version with Bluetooth to communicate with a cell phone and advise when the debris tray needs to be emptied or share information about how much energy is left from the solar panels.

"It got us into a marketplace that's very attractive to our core competency and that is experiencing a lot of growth," Dohnalek said. "There are 10 million pools in the U.S. and the market continues to grow because of the stay-at-home dynamic. Having some products like this in our portfolio that we can self-drive with our engineering knowledge should be a good revenue grower for us, because we can continue to develop new generations of products."

Pivot has now made eight acquisitions in the past three years.

Article courtesy of Kansas City Business Journal.