Hasco shifts gears to mobility vans

Monday, April 23, 2012

MOBILE, Ala. – Hasco Medical wants to become a national player in the mobility van market.

In March, it acquired Londonderry, N.H.-based Ride-Away for $6 million. 

“Right now it’s a very fragmented industry, so we were hoping, with the Ride-Away consolidation—and, hopefully, in the future with acquiring a few more—we could turn into a large player in that segment,” said Hal Compton, CEO. 

Those are familiar words from Compton. In 2008, the former retail executive formed Hasco with the intention of rolling up traditional home medical equipment companies. Hasco currently operates the Mobile, Ala.-based Southern Medical and Mobility, and Ocala, Fla.-based Certified Medical.

However, these days it’s getting harder to make a profit in HME, thus his move toward mobility vans, he said.

“On the DME side, as the margins just keep eroding—and they’re eroding quickly—it’s tough to run those businesses and do it profitably,” said Compton.  

There’s a stronger future for Hasco in mobility vans, Compton said, who in May of 2011 purchased mobility van company Mobility Freedom and its subsidiary Wheelchair Vans of America. 

Ride-Away founder Mark Lore will stay on as president of the company. 

Lore said difficulties getting bank financing had prevented him from growing the company on his own.

“I saw this as a great opportunity to partner with people who know how to do a consolidation, who have resources behind them, and have the ability to take Ride-Away to the next level,” said Lore. 

Compton hasn’t completely ruled out HME—or any other market that looks promising, he said.

“We’ll expand into any business that makes sense for us to grow in the healthcare field,” said Compton. “Right now, yes, it’s vans, but who knows what’s going to come around tomorrow? We’ll just keep evaluating and do what’s best to grow the company.”