Permobil Acquires Ottobock’s OBSS, NUTEC

Permobil keeps growing.

Its latest acquisition is Ottobock’s OBSS and NUTEC custom seating business assets in the United States and Canada.

According to a Jan. 10 news announcement, Permobil and Ottobock were in the midst of completing the deal. Permobil indicated it expected to close the deal by the end of January.

The latest move further expands the Permobil Seating and Positioning division that acquired Comfort Company  in October. Permobil announced its acquisition of Prairie Seating, a custom-molded seating manufacturer, a year ago, in January 2017.

Permobil announced at the start of January 2018 that it had acquired MAX Mobility, manufacturer of the SmartDrive power-assist systems for manual wheelchair users.

Custom Seating Interest

In the news announcement, Permobil emphasized its interest in the highly specialized field of custom wheelchair seating.

Tom Borcherding, president of Permobil Seating and Positioning, said in the announcement, “We see tremendous potential in custom seating to improve health outcomes and achieve clinical objectives for individuals with complex needs. Ottobock’s OBSS and NUTEC custom seating products complement our existing portfolio of premium seating and positioning solutions and provide Permobil with the opportunity to serve a broader range of customers in North America.”

Frank Oschell, VP of Ottobock Human Mobility North America, said in the announcement, “The Human Mobility business segments of OBSS and NUTEC will have an exciting future as part of Permobil — an ideal buyer and leader in the advanced rehabilitation industry.”

Borcherding — who became head of Permobil’s new Seating and Positioning business following Permobil’s acquisition of ROHO in early 2015 — added, “We are excited by the prospect of being able to use our geographic footprint and dedicated network of sales channel partners to offer OBSS and NUTEC products to our customers throughout North America.” 

The latest announcement from Permobil added that it had “recently established a dedicated and clinically focused commercial team in the U.S. to better support customers with seating and positioning needs.”

Permobil celebrated its 50th anniversary last fall. The company is headquartered in Sweden, with North American headquarters in Lebanon, Tenn.

Ottobock was founded in Berlin in 1919, and is known worldwide for its advanced prosthetics and orthotics technology, in addition to its seating and wheeled mobility business. The manufacturer has Canadian headquarters in Burlington, Ont., and American headquarters in Austin, Texas.

About the Author

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

Referrals and Prescriptions podcast