Nordic Capital buys wheelchair business

Northern European mid-market investor Nordic Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Swedish wheelchair supplier Permobil for an undisclosed sum.

Stockholm-based Nordic Capital is taking control of Swedish wheelchair supplier Permobil International.

The firm has agreed to buy a 75 percent stake in the business from its parent company, the Swedish Foundation for Technical Aid for Disabled Persons, for an undisclosed sum.

The remaining 25 percent will be sold to Nordic Capital by Handinter Gamma, an entity owned by the sons of Permobil’s founder Per Uddén, and members of Permobil’s management, according to a press release.

Founded in 1963 by physician and inventor Uddén, Permobil produces and supplies powered wheelchairs for the disabled.

“This is a very promising segment of the healthcare sector,” said Toni Weitzberg, partner at Nordic Capital, in the release. “We will back Permobil’s onward expansion by building on its successful strategy in specialised powered wheelchairs and entering new markets.”

The company has head offices in Timrå, Sweden, as well as production facilities in the US and Sweden. In 2004, Permobil had sales of Skr840 million (€89 million; $104 million). According to Permobil, over half of its sales are in the US, with the remainder from Europe and other markets.

Nordic Capital’s other investments in the medical devices sector include the acquisition in March of this year of Sweden’s Atos Medical from Fisher Scientific International for $110 million (€94 million). Atos Medical provides treatments for ear and sinus diseases.