In brief: Sunrise Medical up for sale, Liberator adds customers

Friday, May 15, 2015

FRESNO, Calif. – Equistone Partners has put Sunrise Medical up for sale, according to Reuters. The European-based investment firm is considering offers from IK Investment Partners and Nordic Capital in a potential $507 million deal, the news agency reports. Equistone Partners, which is owned and managed by the former executives of Barclays Private Equity, is also considering an offer from “a family office,” a vehicle handling the assets of a wealthy family, Reuters reports. Equistone Partners is asking potential buyers to submit final bids by the end of May.

The firm bought Sunrise Medical from New York-based Vestar Capital Partners in 2012.

IK is a European-based private equity advisory group that has raised 7 billion euros in capital and has 21 companies in its current portfolio.

Nordic Capital is a private equity firm in the Nordic region and Germany that formerly owned Permobil, a competitor of Sunrise Medical. It sold Permobil to Investor AB, a Swedish investment firm, in 2013.

New customers boost Liberator’s financial results

STUART, Fla. – Liberator Medical added 5,758 new customers in the first two quarters of fiscal year 2015, the company announced May 11.

“For the remainder of 2015, we intend to build this base through our proven direct response advertising efforts,” stated Mark Libratore, president and CEO, in a press release detailing the company’s financial results for the second quarter ended March 31.

Another emphasis for Liberator: retaining existing customers through “uncompromising” customer service, Libratore says. Existing customers generated $16.9 million in revenues for the second quarter, 86% of total revenues.

Liberator reported net sales of $19.7 million for the second quarter, an 11.7% increase compared to the same period last year. Net income was $1.7 million vs. $1.6 million.

For the first six months of fiscal year 2015, Liberator reported net sales of $39.9 million, a 10% increase compared to the same period last year. Net income was $4.1 million vs. $3.7 million.

ResMed trial fails

SAN DIEGO – ResMed has announced that a phase III trial designed to assess whether treating moderate to severe predominant central sleep apnea with Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) therapy could reduce mortality and morbidity in patients with chronic heart failure has missed the mark. A preliminary analysis of the data identified a statistically significant 2.5% increased risk of cardiovascular mortality for those patients in the trial who received ASV therapy per year compared to those in the control group. In the study, the cardiovascular mortality rate in the ASV group was 10% per year compared to 7.5% per year in the control group.

BritKare buys Pillar

AMARILLO, Texas – BritKare Home Medical has acquired Pillar Equipment Services, a diversified DME business based in Lubbock, Texas. The acquisition gives BritKare, which has been serving the Texas Panhandle region since 1995, three locations in Northwest Texas. “The acquisition of Pillar gives us expanded regional capability to continue providing exceptional service to our patients and referral sources in the Texas Panhandle,” stated Josh Britten, president of BritKare, in a press release. BritKare will change Pillar’s name and continue to operate at its existing location. Duckridge Advisors served as the adviser for Pillar Equipment.

Study details important attributes in concentrators

SOMERSET, Pa. – Failure rate is the most important attribute for homecare providers in a 5-liter oxygen concentrator, according to a recent market research study conducted by DeVilbiss Healthcare. Failure rate (36.09%) is followed by price (25.53%), warranty (19.43%), energy savings (11.05%) and maintenance tools (7.9%). “It is clear from our research that more and more providers see the value of a product that is built to last beyond just the acquisition price,” stated Wally Haddick, vice president of sales, Canada and Latin America, for DeVilbiss Healthcare. “When a manufacturer can minimize post-purchase costs, it allows the provider to focus more

efficiently on what they do best—deliver oxygen therapy service.” The research is based on a poll of 29 homecare providers in Canada and Latin America using an analysis questionnaire with the support of Dr. Oded Netzer, associate professor of business at Columbia Business School in New York City.

Coming soon: Prepay reviews for tilt and tilt and recline 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Jurisdiction C DME MAC has announced widespread prepayment reviews for power tilt (E1002) and power tilt and recline (E1007) wheelchairs. If their claims are selected for review, providers will receive a request for additional documentation that must be received within 45 days, or the claims will be denied.

State takes: Illinois, Michigan

Complex rehab providers in Illinois are facing a double-whammy: an unannounced change to the payment methodology announced in April and an across-the-board payment cut of 16.75% announced in May. As a result, two of the largest providers in the state have temporarily stopped providing products and services. Stakeholders are asking providers to call the Department of Health and Family Services and to email state lawmakers to request action reversing the changes…Michigan’s Senate Committee on Regulatory Reform on May 6 approved legislation that would allow certified manufacturers to install residential stair lifts. Currently, lifts are regulated in the same manner as commercial elevators and can be installed only by a licensed elevator contractor. The bills, H.B. 4163 and H.B. 4162, were passed in March by the House and will now be put to a vote in the Senate.

Short takes: VGM, Allstar Medical Supply, Home Care Medical and more

The VGM Heartland Conference has been awarded the 2014 Cedar Valley Tourism Award for “Event of the Year.” The award is given to a hallmark event or festival that creates significant economic impact, attracts substantial out-of-town visitors, generates positive media attention and/or promotes Cedar Valley as a destination. The conference takes place June 15-18…Allstar Medical Supply has won “Best Wellness & Medical Retail Store” in an annual reader poll conducted by the Bay Area News Group, which includes the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and a number of other newspapers…Home Care Medical will host a grand re-opening event on May 15 at its retail store in West Bend, Wis…BioScrip is offering to exchange up to $200 million of senior notes due in 2021 for an equal amount of its outstanding senior notes due 2021. The notes are in aggregate principal amount of 8.875%. The offer is being made to satisfy BioScrip’s obligations to a registration rights agreement in connection with the old notes…CareTouch Communications is a Friend Sponsor of the Cancer Centers of Colorado at Lutheran Medical Center’s Leaves of Hope run/walk. The company’s “CareTouch in the Community Team” will participate in the June 7 event, which highlights that there is life after cancer, according to a release.