Pinnacle Business Systems Acquires St. Croix Solutions, Expands Minn. Footprint


Solution provider Pinnacle Business Systems has moved to expand operations in Minnesota with the acquisition of St. Croix Solutions.

Edmond, Okla.-based Pinnacle Business Systems on Dec. 31 closed the acquisition of Minnetonka, Minn.-based St. Croix Solutions as a way to expand its business in Minnesota, said Amber Lawhun, Pinnacle's marketing director.

"We had a physical office there, but not for the last three years," Lawhun said. "It was not a growth area for us. So the opportunity to acquire St. Croix Solutions came about because we have a market there."

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Pinnacle Business Systems and St. Croix Solutions also share a few key vendor relationships, especially EMC, Hitachi Data Systems and VMware, Lawhun said.

With the acquisition, Pinnacle will bring its other vendor partners, including IBM, Avaya, Hewlett-Packard, Tipping Point, Brocade, Cisco and VCE to St. Croix's customer base, in addition to new unified communications and security practices, she said.

For St. Croix, the acquisition means a chance to grow its business, Lawhun said. "They needed to take the next step to grow," she said.

Historically, both companies' primary businesses have been in data center infrastructures.

Pinnacle is a member of the CRN Solution Provider 500 list, and in 2012 was listed at No. 356 on the list with an annual revenue of between $20 million and $50 million. Lawhun, citing the fact that Pinnacle is privately listed, declined to provide specific revenue for the company.

Pinnacle is also listed on the CRN Tech Elite 250 and CRN Fast Growth lists.

This is only the second acquisition Pinnacle Business Systems has made, the first being the 2004 acquisition of Nebraska-based Kalos Group.

Pinnacle Business Systems had about 55 employees before acquiring St. Croix Solutions, which brings the company another 15 more, Lawhun said.

Two employees not joining Pinnacle are Jennifer VanDerHorst-Larson, former owner and CEO of St. Croix, and her husband Dave. They will continue to operate Vibrant Technologies, a Minnetonka, Minn.-based reseller of used IT equipment, and focus on their contributions raising awareness to the care and treatment of autism through The Holland Center, a school for autistic children, Lawhun said.

PUBLISHED JAN. 4, 2013

This story was updated on Jan. 4, 2013, at 5:52 p.m. PST, to clarify statements made Amber Lawhun, Pinnacle's marketing director, regarding the reasons behind the acquisition.