All-Ways picks up lift division

Sunday, March 31, 2002

CONCORD, N.H. - All-Ways Accessible has acquired the lift division of one of its major competitors, the Raymond, N.H.-based Lifeplus, Inc.

Liz Early, executive v.p. of All-Ways, said the company has acquired Lifeplus' lift inventory, as well as its existing customers (for servicing). She said the two companies have also entered into a referral agreement whereby Lifeplus will refer lift requests to All-Ways, and All-Ways will refer DME requests to Lifeplus.

"The referral possibilities are huge," Early said. "That's the true value of this agreement. Lifeplus has 10 locations, and it has established a big presence in the accessibility lift market."

All-Ways, which services Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont from its one location here, sells, installs and services residential elevators, wheelchair lifts, LULA elevators, stairway lifts, transfer lifts, tub lifts and ramps. The company does about 60% of its business in the home.

Lifeplus has divested itself of its lift division to focus on its core businesses: respiratory and rehab, according to April Mason, president and chief operating officer.

Early said the acquisition is the first of its kind for All-Ways. Acquisitions are few and far between for the company because not many HME providers do enough lift business to make a takeover worthwhile. This acquisition, however, should bump up the company's revenues to about $3 million next year, she said.

Mason said that HME providers are coming to the realization that lifts are a specialty market and that selling a handful of lifts a year isn't profitable.

All-Ways sells 100 stairways lifts, alone, a year, Early said. HME