Bothell-based business grows in global market

A local company that leads the nation in bus video surveillance recently expanded its global reach through a merger with an international technology group.

Apollo Video Technology, a Bothell-based company, recently announced its merger with Luminator Technology Group. The merger has allowed Apollo to expand its presence on the global market and pursue bigger projects.

“They (went) from being owned by two individuals to a larger multi-billion-dollar private equity firm and a large parent company,” said acquisition lead, Brian Murphy of Meridian Capital. “This provides the company with a larger balance sheet should they want to pursue more aggressive initiatives going forward.”

Apollo has been the No. 1 supplier of transit bus mobile video surveillance equipment in the Americas since 2010 based on annual sales revenue, according to the IHS Markit mobile video surveillance and body worn cameras report.

The company also provides vehicle surveillance systems to the government, military, law enforcement and first-responders.

Rodell Notbohm, CEO and founder of Apollo, said that the company is currently focusing on expanding the European market.

“This is a great success story, I’m really glad I can be a part of it,” he said.

Advertising in the European wasn’t a worthwhile investment before the merger, according to Notbohm, but Luminator, which has several European offices, made it possible.

Luminator provides technologies and products, such as Apollo’s surveillance systems to bus, rail and aerospace manufacturers. They also provide passenger information and metro-transit data.

The company felt that Apollo’s systems were a good addition to the product line and could improve data accessibility.

“We are proud to welcome Apollo Video to the LTG family,” said Avi Zisman, chairman of the board for Luminator in a press release. “Apollo Video’s long-standing commitment to providing state-of-the-art technology solutions in the transportation sector is a perfect match to enhance our technology offerings and services to our mutual customers.”

According to Murphy, the merger process began in late 2016 after Meridian Capital, which Apollo hired to review partnership options. The company provided Apollo with several options.

Meridian Capital had been working with Apollo for more than two years looking for companies that would meet their key objectives.

Murphy said that Apollo wanted a partner that would support their technology efforts, has similar relationships in government or municipalities and would both give shareholders liquidity and allow the two main shareholders to keep meaningful ownership stakes in the business.

Meridian Capital narrowed the search and Apollo decided that Luminator was the most “attractive option,” according to Murphy.

Notbohm said that while Luminator wasn’t the highest offer, he felt it was the best fit for the company long term.

“We are honored to be a part of Luminator Technology Group and look forward to collaborating with others within LTG to integrate complementary technologies,” said Notbohm in a press release. “This will strengthen our goal of providing transit agencies and transportation providers with access to even more sophisticated, fully-integrated solutions.”

Notbohm received the EY 2017 Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur Of The Year Award last month for his work as the Apollo CEO. Notbohm said he’s been happy to see the company grow organically.

“There are a lot of people in the Puget Sound area who want to make a difference,” Notbohm said. “If you can show you’re making a difference, you can attract some really talented people.”

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