Sunrise Medical, a New York-based maker of high-end wheelchairs and seating systems that was controlled by Vestar Capital Partners, is being acquired by Equistone Partners Europe, the former buyouts business of Barclays. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed.
Sunrise Medical Inc. (“Sunrise Medical”) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its global mobility and seating operations to funds advised by Equistone Partners Europe (“Equistone”), one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts. Terms of the purchase of Sunrise Medical from affiliates of U.S.-based private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners (“Vestar”) were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2012. Completion is subject to approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities.
Sunrise Medical is the leading global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of high-end custom manual and power wheelchairs and technologically advanced and proprietary seating systems.
Dirk Schekerka, Managing Director of Equistone in Germany, comments, “We are looking at an exciting market with high potential for further development. Together with the company’s excellent management team we look forward to support Sunrise Medical’s next stage of growth.”
“Our partnership with Vestar has helped the company focus its innovation and operating strengths on the mobility business globally,” said Thomas Rossnagel, CEO of Sunrise Medical. “The corporation holds a very strong market position and the past three year’s financial performance has been outstanding. My team and I are excited about the opportunity to take Sunrise Medical to the next level of performance and significantly expand our global business with support of the new resources from Equistone.”
“We have had an extraordinarily productive collaboration with Sunrise Medical,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar Capital Partners. “We have created value through two successful spin-offs, which allowed Sunrise Medical to streamline and focus its operations and strategy. Thomas Rossnagel has been an exceptional leader and we believe he and his team will continue on their promising path. We at Vestar thank Thomas and his accomplished team at Sunrise for their dedication and excellent performance over the years we have been their investment partner.”
In December 2000, Vestar, in partnership with Park Avenue Equity Partners, acquired Sunrise Medical in a going-private transaction. During Vestar’s ownership, Sunrise Medical spun out to shareholders its Joerns Healthcare (“Joerns”), DeVilbiss Healthcare (“DeVilbiss”) and DynaVox Systems (“DynaVox”) divisions. Joerns and DynaVox were successfully realized in 2010 while Vestar continues as the majority shareholder of DeVilbiss.
Sunrise Medical and Vestar received financial advice from Rothschild. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal counsel and Deloitte Tax LLP provided tax advice.
Equistone received financial advice from Hauck & Aufhäuser. P+P Pöllath + Partners and Thompson Hine LLP provided legal advice. Ashurst advised on credit documentation and KPMG provided tax advice.
The transaction was led by Dirk Schekerka, Marc Arens and Alexis Milkovic for Equistone.
About Sunrise Medical
Sunrise Medical is a world leader in the development, design, manufacture and distribution of manual wheelchairs, power wheelchairs, motorized scooters and both standard and customized seating and positioning systems. Sunrise Medical manufactures products in facilities in the United States, Mexico, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, and China, marketed under the QUICKIE, SOPUR, ZIPPIE, BREEZY, STERLING and JAY proprietary brands. Products are sold through a network of homecare medical product providers or distributors in more than 130 countries. The company is headquartered in Malsch, Germany with North American headquarters in Fresno, CA and employs 1,600 associates worldwide. For more information, please visit www.sunrisemedical.com/
About Equistone Partners Europe
Equistone Partners Europe Limited is an independent investment firm owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity. Equistone acquired the management company of Barclays Private Equity from Barclays Capital, the investment banking division of Barclays Bank PLC, in November 2011. The Company is one of Europe’s leading investors in mid-market buyouts with a successful track record spanning over 30 years, with more than 350 transactions completed in this period. Equistone has a strong focus on change of ownership deals and aims to invest between €25m and €125m of equity in businesses with enterprise values of between €50m and €300m. The Company has a team of 33 investment professionals operating across France, Germany, Switzerland and the U.K., investing as a strategic partner alongside management teams. For further information, please visit www.equistonepe.com
About Vestar Capital Partners
Vestar Capital Partners is a leading private equity firm specializing in management buyouts and growth capital investments. Vestar’s active funds aggregate approximately $8 billion in commitments. The firm targets companies in North America with valuations of $150 million to $1.5 billion in four key industry sectors: Consumer, Diversified Industries, Healthcare, and Financial Services. Vestar invests and collaborates with incumbent management teams, family owners or corporations in a creative, flexible and entrepreneurial way to build long-term enterprise value. Since the firm’s founding in 1988, the Vestar funds have completed 69 investments in companies with a total value of more than $30 billion. For more information, please visit www.vestarcapital.com