Roll-up blues

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Ed Arioli’s plan to roll up a home respiratory company that eventually generates $20 million to $50 million in annual revenue has run into trouble.

The venture, Specialize Home Medical Services, has become embroiled in a legal fight with a former director. Both sides declined to discuss the dispute publically. What is known, however, is that Specialized is no longer servicing patients from its St. Clair Shores, Mich., location, its only facility.

The dispute appears to involve a disagreement over who owns the company’s equipment and who is legally entitled to service the company’s patients.

“We plan to continue operating” and resolve the issues with the former director, said Arioli’s legal counsel, Linda Watson.

Arioli’s roll-up plan called for raising up to $5 million from investors and acquiring companies by paying a combination of cash and stock. Arioli made a name for himself as a co-owner of Mid State Medical, which Foster Medical acquired in 1982. In 1984, Avon Corp. acquired Foster, and Arioli became senior vice president of the medical division. Arioli left Avon shortly before the company sold its HME holdings to Abbey Healthcare. Since then, he’s been involved in non-HME ventures.