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Blackford Capital Expands PACIV, its Industrial Automation Platform, with The Acquisition of Eight12 Automation

— The second add-on to the firm’s Industrial Automation platform in just twelve months delivers strategic geographic expansion to the West Coast; increases depth of capability in high-value life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical device markets —

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — June 10, 2024 — (NOTICIAS NEWSWIRE) — Blackford Capital (“Blackford”), a leading lower middle market private equity firm, announced today the acquisition of Southern California-based Eight12 Automation (“Eight12”), an automation and controls engineering leader. This is the second add-on to the PACIV Industrial Automation platform in the past 12 months. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Eight12 serves a robust client base representing a variety of end markets including life sciences, medical device, food & beverage, steel processing, automotive assembly, consumer products, and water filtration. Throughout its history, the company has maintained a strong reputation in the rapidly growing systems integration and automation space.

Founded in 2011 by Witney Johnson, Eight12 joins Blackford Capital’s PACIV Industrial Automation Platform just five months after the January 2024 acquisition of Pennsylvania and Ohio-based Data Science Automation (“DSA”). With offices in Puerto Rico, Indiana, and the EU, PACIV is a leading full-service provider of an extensive slate of industrial process automation and systems integration services including validation, instrumentation, and turnkey solutions, primarily for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. It was acquired by Blackford Capital in June 2023.

“Eight12 is an exciting addition to the PACIV industrial automation platform, offering strategic geographic expansion and perfect alignment with our vision of operating in highly regulated end markets,” said Martin Stein, Founder and Managing Director of Blackford Capital. “We’re just getting started, but we’ve already seen impressive synergies and collaboration between PACIV/DSA and Eight12 and are confident this is just the beginning.”

The highly fragmented industrial automation sector is one of the fastest growing global industries. It is conservatively projected to reach a market size of USD 395.09 billion by 2029. Since the platform’s inception in 2023, Blackford Capital’s acquisition strategy has already yielded cost and capability synergies, strategic geographic expansion to allow better service to existing and new clients, and a growth trajectory that will differentiate it and expand relevance in a quickly consolidating market.

Witney Johnson, Founder of Eight12, will assume the position of Principal Engineer / West Coast Region Manager at PACIV USA following the acquisition. All other engineering staff will retain their positions.

“We are delighted to be part of the PACIV family, expanding our access to new customers, geographies, and experienced engineering resources,” said Johnson. “The impressive synergies with PACIV and DSA bring us national and international expansion opportunities, and improve our ability to serve our clients, particularly those in the medical device and laboratory testing businesses.”

L&F Brown, P.C. served as legal advisor to Eight12. Varnum LLP served as legal advisor and DPO&Co served as the financial advisor to PACIV.

About Blackford Capital

Founded in 2010, Blackford Capital is a private equity investment firm headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Blackford acquires, manages, and builds founder and family-owned, lower middle-market companies, with a focus on the manufacturing, industrial and distribution industries. Blackford has a track record of exceptional returns, a disciplined and relentless approach to value creation, and a focus on operational excellence and a compelling culture. In 2023, Blackford Capital was named to Inc’s list of Founder-Friendly Investors, was recognized by ACG Detroit with the 2023 M&A Dealmaker of the Year Award and awarded the 2023 Small Markets Deal of the Year award by both Buyouts Magazine and the Global M&A Network Atlas Awards. For more information, visit

About Eight12 Automation
Founded in 2011 by Witney Johnson, Eight12 Automation designs, installs, and monitors custom automation solutions in various industries including life sciences, medical device and laboratory testing, water filtration, steel processing, automotive assembly, and consumer products. A proven and reliable resource for automation and controls engineering and systems integration in Southern California, Eight12 delivers expertise in machine controls – from electrical design to PLC & HMI programming – with applications that include Robot, PLC & Motion Control, SCADA, Machinery Vision, and Electrical Systems. To learn more about the company, visit



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