The worldwide wheelchair industry is buzzing after Permobil, one of the largest manufacturers of powered mobility devices, announced the purchase of the leading custom ultra-lightweight manufacturer TiLite.
“We’re extremely excited and we feel very privileged that we were able to put this together. I think as a complete organization we can be stronger and fight for more user’s rights,” says Larry Jackson, president of Permobil North America.
Permobil purchased TiLite with the hopes of making inroads into emerging markets like China and South America. “We felt with a top-of-the line manual chair company like TiLite, we could get into those markets and expand our geographical presence and that would let us sell more power chairs,” he says.
The biggest change with the merger is that TiLite will now have the full power of Permobil’s sales team behind it. According to Jackson, his sales staff has 1,000 years of collective experience. “I think that allows us to really get the product out there and show the market the ability TiLite has,” he says.
Jackson says Pasco, Wash., based TiLite, which was founded in 1998, will undergo few changes. It will retain its corporate identity, state-of-the–art manufacturing facility and customer support personnel.
Permobil and TiLite have a combined sales of $3.1 billion. The acquisition of TiLite is financed by retained cash and new debt.