Sunrise Medical Acquires RGK Wheelchairs

Sunrise Medical has acquired RGK Wheelchairs Ltd., a manufacturer based in the United Kingdom and known for its custom manual wheelchairs for wheelchair athletes and active everyday users.

RGK’s co-founders, Russel Simms and Greg Eden, were wheelchair basketball fanatics back in 1988, when they started their company.

In a company profile for RGK, Simms, the company’s commercial director, noted that at the time, rigid-frame designs had entered the high-performance manual wheelchair market in Great Britain, but “there was nothing of a really bespoke design available. And our idea was born.”

Bespoke is a common British term meaning an item custom made to its user.

Simms says in the RGK video that the goal of RGK was to build “the world’s finest hand-built wheelchairs,” a task that got its start in Simms’s kitchen.

In a news announcement released by Equistone Partners Europe, one of Sunrise Medical’s owners, Sunrise CEO/President Thomas Rossnagel said, “RGK is a great addition to our family of brands! Personally, I am very excited about the prospect of a united RGK and Sunrise Medical, especially leading up to the Rio 2016 Paralympics.”

The RGK acquisition comes just weeks after Sunrise announced it had acquired Switch-It, manufacturer of alternative driving controls for power wheelchairs.

“After Switch-It in March, RGK is our second acquisition this year, and we continue to be on the look-out for exciting acquisition opportunities in product lines and technology that further add to the strong growth of our core business,” Rossnagel said.

About the Author

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

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