Employees buy Shield Healthcare

Sunday, December 3, 2006

VALENCIA, Calif. -The executive management team at Shield Healthcare has bought a controlling interest in the company from its parent, Japanese-based Kobiyashi Pharmaceuticals.

"The jobs of 300 people are protected," said Jim Snell, president/CEO. "We will be able to maintain a 50-year tradition of service to the medically fragile community."

Terms of the Nov. 1 deal were not disclosed, but Kobiyashi--which retains a minority interest for now--had been looking for some time to sell the provider of disposable medical supplies. Shield has three distribution facilities and several sales centers in three hubs--in California, Colorado and Illinois. The company serves primarily Medicare/Medicaid patients in the home-delivery market via the Internet and phone.

With most of the management team averaging 20 years with the company, the transition should be seamless, said Todd Smith, senior marketing manager.

"They've been hands-on management, anyway, so there won't be any change in terms of culture or strategic objectives," Smith said. "Our culture, our mission isn't going to change."

With the company under local management, it has aggressive growth plans, and is in talks to acquire one or two new businesses in the near future, Smith said.

"We'll be quicker to market with new product lines, quicker to expand geographically," he added.

Shield plans to enter the CPAP market soon, and it's looking at diabetic supplies, some pharmacy-based items and mobility products, Smith said.