Pride to Buy Silver Star Mobility

MMBeat

Pride Mobility Products, the Exeter, Pa.-based mobility and rehab manufacturing giant, is in the process of purchasing Silver Star Mobility Products and expects the deal to close this month, said Scott Meuser, Pride's CEO.

"Historically, we've been a very focused company," Meuser said in discussing the deal. "We believe that's how you serve markets best — our focus is in the rehab market and consumer power, scooters and lift chairs. But we reached a point in terms of our operational development in which we thought we could add another line that fit in and made sense and is a natural complement to the product categories we're already in. We felt that we were ready to be in another line and serve that market well. We chose vehicle lifts (for) both scooters and power chairs."

Founded in 1989, Silver Star Mobility currently operates in Medford, Ore., and will remain there, Meuser said, as a Pride Mobility Products division. Dennis Mortimore, Silver Star's owner, will stay on as the new VP of vehicle lifts. Doug Curtis, formerly of Bruno Independent Living Aids, will also join the division as national sales manager.

Meuser indicated that the deal has been in the works long enough for Pride to implement upgrades to Silver Star products — and to arrange for Silver Star's Medtrade booth to be proximate to its new parent company's exhibit. Current Pride and Silver Star dealers will notice other changes as well, including some newly centralized operations.

"We have a strong inside and outside sales force," Meuser said. "We've got a really strong marketing department, we've got five distribution centers located throughout the U.S., and so if you think about it, it's just a natural fit. They're (Silver Star) going to stock our distribution centers, and we're going to market and sell their products throughout the country, giving dealers very timely shipments and local availability. The products will come with all the Pride support services — all the marketing services we offer, including customized literature and that sort of thing that helps dealers to sell products effectively to consumers."

As an example of how Silver Star will function as a Pride Mobility division, Meuser made a comparison to the company's Quantum Rehab division. "We're a focused company because we're trying to provide a superior value proposition for all the products we offer," Meuser said. "We're going to bring that same approach to lifts."

This article originally appeared in the September 2005 issue of Mobility Management.

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