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DSA joins Blackford Capital
Data Science Automation Partners with Blackford Capital, First Add-on to the PACIV Platform

Transaction advances capabilities in the industrial automation sector, builds headcount and expands geographic footprint

GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan, January 31, 2024  Blackford Capital (“Blackford”), a leading lower middle market private equity firm, announced today the acquisition of Data Science Automation (“DSA”), an automation engineering services and training firm with operations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio, that collaborates with its clients to digitally transform and automate laboratory, product, manufacturing, and test systems and applications.

DSA is the first add-on to Blackford’s PACIV Platform, announced in June 2023. PACIV, which operates offices in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Indianapolis, Indiana, and in Cork, Ireland, is a leading full-service provider of industrial process automation and systems integration primarily for manufacturers in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries. The addition of Data Science Automation expands the Platform’s North American operations, expands engineering and technology capabilities, and provides new customer opportunities globally.

The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.

“We are excited to welcome Data Science Automation as the first add-on acquisition to the PACIV industrial automation platform,” said Jeff Johnson, managing director at Blackford Capital and chairman of the board of PACIV. “This strategic acquisition brings enhanced engineering and training capabilities, a proven track record, and a team of talented professionals that complement our vision to further expand our US footprint.”   

Founded in 1993, DSA is a gold-tier Control Systems Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified Controls Systems Integrator with more than 30 years of experience providing automation engineering services in support of its pioneering clients. Leveraging its electrical, mechanical, software, and systems engineering capabilities, DSA provides diversified services including measurement & automation, machine building & mechatronics, enterprise & integration, and consulting & training services to many of the world’s leading companies spanning various industries throughout North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

DSA’s Founder and CEO Rich Brueggman, along with the rest of DSA’s employee base, will maintain their roles following the acquisition. 

“Over the past three decades, our team of highly acclaimed and certified automation experts have solved over 3,000 challenges for more than 1,650 businesses worldwide, improved clients’ products and operations, and achieved ambitious and impactful automation engineering and digital transformation initiatives,” said DSA’s Rich Brueggman. “Joining Blackford’s industrial automation platform and cooperating with a seasoned team will allow us to not only enhance our market position but also accelerate our collective growth trajectory. We are confident in our combined ability to drive bigger success and provide enhanced value to our customers and partners.”

“DSA’s commitment to professionalism, operational excellence, and long-term value creation aligns with our values at Blackford Capital,” said Martin Stein, founder and managing director of Blackford Capital. “The acquisition is poised to yield significant value creation, including operational efficiencies, resource optimization, and an expanded global network, and underscores Blackford Capital’s dedication to building a versatile and dynamic portfolio while generating value for all stakeholders involved. Together, we are poised to unlock new opportunities, drive innovation, and deliver exceptional returns for our investors.”

Benchmark International served as exclusive investment advisor, DGPerry served as accounting/tax advisor, and Lynch Law Group served as legal advisor to DSA. Varnum LLP served as legal advisor and Baker Tilly served as the financial and tax advisor to PACIV. HCAP Partners provided debt financing for the transaction.



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


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