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Sunrise Medical to be acquired by Equistone Partners Europe

06 Nov 2012

Sunrise Medical Inc. ("œSunrise Medical") today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its global mobility and seating operations to funds managed by Equistone Partners Europe ("œEquistone"), one of Europe"™s leading investors in mid-market buyouts. Terms of the purchase of Sunrise Medical from affiliates of US-based private equity firm Vestar Capital Partners ("Vestar") were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2012. Completion is subject to approval by the relevant anti-trust authorities.

Sunrise Medical is the leading global manufacturer, marketer and distributor of high-end custom manual and power wheelchairs and technologically advanced and proprietary seating systems.

Dirk Schekerka, a Managing Director of Equistone in Germany, comments, “We are looking at an exciting market with high potential for further development. Together with the company’s excellent management team we look forward to supporting Sunrise Medical’s next stage of growth."

“Our partnership with Vestar has helped the company focus its innovation and operating strengths on the mobility business globally,” said Thomas Rossnagel, CEO of Sunrise Medical. “The corporation holds a very strong market position and the past three years’ financial performance has been outstanding. My team and I are excited about the opportunity to take Sunrise Medical to the next level of performance and significantly expand our global business with support of the new resources from Equistone.”

“We have had an extraordinarily productive collaboration with Sunrise Medical,” said Dan O’Connell, CEO of Vestar Capital Partners. “We have created value through two successful spin-offs, which allowed Sunrise Medical to streamline and focus its operations and strategy. Thomas Rossnagel has been an exceptional leader and we believe he and his team will continue on their promising path. We at Vestar thank Thomas and his accomplished team at Sunrise for their dedication and excellent performance over the years we have been their investment partner.”

In December 2000, Vestar, in partnership with Park Avenue Equity Partners, acquired Sunrise Medical in a going-private transaction. During Vestar’s ownership, Sunrise Medical spun out to shareholders its Joerns Healthcare (“Joerns”), DeVilbiss Healthcare (“DeVilbiss”) and DynaVox Systems (“DynaVox”) divisions. Joerns and DynaVox were successfully realized in 2010 while Vestar continues as the majority shareholder of DeVilbiss.

Sunrise Medical and Vestar received financial advice from Rothschild. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP provided legal counsel and Deloitte Tax LLP provided tax advice.

Equistone received financial advice from Hauck & Aufhäuser. P+P Pöllath + Partners and Thompson Hine LLP provided legal advice. Ashurst advised on credit documentation and KPMG provided tax advice.

The transaction was led by Dirk Schekerka, Marc Arens and Alexis Milkovic for Equistone.  

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