New Ownership Structure for The Braun Corp.
- By Laurie Watanabe
- May 31, 2012
The Braun Corp. has changed its ownership structure, adding a senior management group and two strategic investors, the adaptive automotive manufacturer has announced.
The new investors are Michael Bruno II, CEO of Bruno Independent Living Aids, and Sam Schmidt, owner of Sam Schmidt Motorsports and a former Indycar driver.
Ralph Braun, The Braun Corp.’s founder and CEO, orchestrated the changes, according to a May 25 news announcement. The announcement said the new structure includes a “recapitalization.”
The Braun Corp. is celebrating it 40th anniversary this year.
“My management team consists of proven performers, and both of the new investors are successful businessmen with a deep and personal experience in mobility,” Braun said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team to continue the Braun legacy in the mobility industry.”
Braun added that the management and ownership changes “will enable us to keep leading, innovating and changing the lives of individuals with physical disabilities for the next 40 years and beyond.”
The Braun Corp. (braunability.com), based in Winamac, Ind., manufactures wheelchair-accessible vans, ramps and wheelchair lifts via its BraunAbility brand. Ralph Braun, diagnosed in childhood with spinal muscular atrophy, invented a scooter and a wheelchair lift on his way to creating The Braun Corp. The Ralph Braun Foundation (ralphbraunfoundation.org) awards grants to support consumer purchases of accessibility equipment.
Bruno Independent Living Aids (bruno.com) manufactures automotive and home accessibility equipment, including automotive vehicle lifts and carriers, automotive turning seats, stairlifts and vertical platform lifts. The manufacturer is based in Oconomowoc, Wisc.
Sam Schmidt Motorsports (samschmidtmotorsports.com), based in Indianapolis, was founded by Sam Schmidt following a 2000 racing accident in which he sustained a spinal cord injury. The team currently participates in the Indycar and Indy Lights racing series, and Schmidt fielded two Indycars in last weekend’s Indianapolis 500. The number 99 car, piloted by veteran driver Townsend Bell, was sponsored by BraunAbility and finished in ninth place.
Schmidt also formed the Sam Schmidt Paralysis Foundation (samschmidt.org), described as “leading the charge for a cure for paralysis.”
Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.