Sunrise Medical Buys Handicare’s Mobility Division

Sunrise Medical’s latest acquisition is Handicare’s mobility division, a diverse portfolio including power and manual wheelchairs, seating & positioning systems and components, power chair joysticks and alternative driving controls, scooters, rollators, children’s wheelchairs and bariatric wheelchairs.

The Aug. 4 announcement from Sunrise said it had not purchased “accessibility, patient handling, car adaptations, etc.” Those divisions will continue to be owned by Handicare.

In its news statement, Sunrise said it expects “annual sales post transaction will well exceed €400 million, cementing [Sunrise’s] leadership position as the single biggest premium mobility company globally.” The announcement also said that Handicare’s presence in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Germany, France and Canada “will expand Sunrise’s geographic and product reach.”

Handicare is headquartered in Helmond, The Netherlands. The announcement said the acquisition should be finalized in September.

Sunrise will ease Handicare products into its existing portfolio during the next 12 to 18 months, and has signed a brand licensing agreement to continue using the Handicare name and logo for a specified period.

Sunrise CEO/President Thomas Rossnagel said of the acquisition, “Sunrise Medical has seen very strong growth over the past five years, organically and by way of strategically important and successful acquisitions. To now acquire Handicare’s mobility business makes perfect commercial sense. This business is highly complementary to Sunrise Medical’s, geographically as well as from a product perspective.”

Handicare Chairman and Acting CEO Johan Ek called Sunrise Medical the “perfect home” for Handicare’s mobility division and said that going forward, Handicare would focus “on investing and growing our remaining business segments.”

On Aug. 3, Handicare U.S. announced that Tom Rolick, formerly VP of sales for Permobil, had been named its new CEO.

Sunrise Medical sold its Guardian line of mobility DME, which included scooters, walking aids, patient aids and bath safety equipment, to Medline Industries in November 2008. Since then, Sunrise had focused on the complex rehab technology segment.

Even before the Handicare announcement, Sunrise had been busy this year on the acquisition front. In April, the manufacturer revealed it had purchased Switch-It, a manufacturer of alternative drive controls for power wheelchairs. In May, Sunrise said it had acquired RGK Wheelchairs, a Canadian manufacturer of custom-made high-performance and sports manual wheelchairs.

In June, Sunrise was purchased by Nordic Capital, an investment company that once owned Permobil.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

In Support of Upper-Extremity Positioning