Skip to Content

Etac builds NA biz

Etac builds NA biz ‘We can better leverage our strengths together’

Michael WirzbergerTORRANCE, Calif. – Etac’s acquisition of Ki Mobility, a manufacturer of ultralight manual wheelchairs based in Stevens Point, Wis., gives the company an even stronger toehold in the complex rehab market in North America. 

Etac, which has more of a presence in Scandinavia and Europe, has been building its complex rehab portfolio in North America since 2011, with Ki Mobility representing its third acquisition there, following Illinois-based Star Cushion Products in 2016 and California-based Convaid in 2015.  

“We can better leverage our strengths together,” said Michael Wirzberger, CEO of Etac. “Ki Mobility has a much larger sales force and customer service staff in the United States. We can leverage that size and increase our coverage and customer service activities. Ultimately, we can lead with the same customers.” 

Just prior to Etac’s acquisition of Ki Mobility, Ki Mobility made an acquisition of its own: Wisconsin-based Adaptive Engineering Lab, a manufacturer of headrests, lateral supports, belts, abductors and adductors, arm and foot supports, and seats and backs. 

Etac, in turn, will open up the European market, in particular, for Ki Mobility. 

“We’ve only sold into Europe for a while,” said Doug Munsey, president and CEO of Ki Mobility. “A few years ago, we dedicated someone to international business development, and we got a few good suppliers in those markets, but the room for growth is a pretty dramatic opportunity for us. Now, as part of Etac, we’re more of a player there.” 

To make Etac and the companies it has acquired over the years easier to do business with, Munsey has also been charged with building a dedicated mobility organization for sales and customer service. 

“We want our customers to have a single main contact – we believe that’s the best way for our suppliers and therapists to communicate with us,” he said. “We don’t want to make it complicated.” 

Bigger picture, Etac is also expanding its presence in the patient handling, bathroom/ADL and pediatric markets, with an eye toward growing its current revenues of $350 million in North America. 

“We want to be a leader in complex rehab, but that’s just one area where we want to be strong in,” Wirzberger said. “Patient handling is another. (The Ki Mobility acquisition) is a step in the right direction and hopefully there will be more steps that follow. That’s the direction we’re getting from our owners and our board.”


To comment on this post, please log in to your account or set up an account now.