Fight or flight

After a relatively flat 2019 in the mobility business, 2020 sees the industry fighting back with some interesting business development initiatives and acquisitions.

Today Sunrise Medical announced that it had acquired Spanish Oracing (terms not disclosed). Oracing is a specialty active and sport wheelchair manufacturer and will complement the Sunrise and RGK range.

Mike Sheen RGK General manager remarked

Oracing is a well-established brand and a great addition to our group. Together with our existing strong brands like RGK, Quickie and Empulse, we can offer the most suitable products to satisfy a large variety of specific customer needs in these fast growing market segments

Significantly Oracing is in the ebike power assist business.

This acquisition comes shortly on the heels of the announcement that Swedish REAC had acquired Batec – also in Spain, which is a leading company that designs and manufactures innovative power assist products for manual wheelchairs. Mauritz Sahlin, MS Group CEO said

The acquisition will enhance the group’s product range and strengthen the market position as well as provide a good base for further growth within this interesting market

REAC is a leading supplier of specialty components to the wheelchair industry with manufacturing in Poland – interesting.

The Power assist space is one of the fast growth segments in the mobility industry. The devices allow users to go further, faster and easier while taking some of the strain off tired shoulders. They can also be a lot of fun to drive.

Besides the above acquisitions, the launch last year of both a front and rear power assist device by Invacare and the very recent launch of the new innovative Permobil Smartdrive power assist is further evidence that the major industry players are all taking this business very seriously.

While all of the above are relatively small deals financially, they are nonetheless indications of an industry on the move.

I have not heard the drums beating so loudly in the industry for a long time. There is certainly more to come.

Fight or flight, the answer is clear.