Permobil Is Purchased by Investor AB

Permobil, international manufacturer of complex rehab power chairs for adults and children, has been purchased by Investor AB, a Swedish investment company.

Permobil had been owned by Nordic Capital since 2006. In a March 27 news release, Investor AB said it had purchased Permobil in a deal worth $842.3 million.

In the six years that Nordic Capital owned Permobil – which is based in Timrå, Sweden, with American headquarters in Lebanon, Tenn. – Permobil’s sales nearly doubled, according to the news announcement. Investor added that Permobil’s sales growth over the last decade has averaged 8 percent per year.

Investor AB’s portfolio is composed of companies in many different industries, including AstraZeneca (biopharmaceutical), Ericcson (communications technology and services), Husqvarna (outdoor motor products) and Saab (military defense and civil security).

In a presentation about the new purchase, Investor called Permobil “a good fit to our long-term approach,” describing the manufacturer as “a high-quality company with Nordic roots and global market presence in an industry Investor knows well.”

The presentation also noted that Permobil has a “strong product offering and leading market positions” that would “provide an attractive platform for profitable long-term growth.”

Investor said Permobil sells products in more than 30 countries around the world and has approximately 700 employees worldwide. North America currently accounts for 54 percent of the manufacturer’s total revenue.

Permobil was founded by Per Udden, a doctor and inventor who advocated for a higher quality of life for people with disabilities. Dissatisfied with power chair offerings at the time -- bulky devices that could only navigate smooth surfaces -- Udden took things into his own hands and built his first power wheelchair in 1963.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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