Welzorg private equity-backed for third time

Industri Kapital has bought Dutch mobility aids distributor Welzorg from UBS Capital, marking the company’s third spell under private equity ownership.

Swedish private equity firm Industri Kapital has acquired Welzorg, the former state-owned manufacturer and distributor of mobility aids, providing an exit for UBS Capital.

 

Amsterdam-based Welzorg is a major supplier of wheelchairs for the elderly, infirm and disabled and has a strong position in the Dutch market for the government-subsidised rental of mobility aids.

 

The price for the business has not been disclosed, although it is thought to be above the E150m UBS Capital paid for the business in June 2000. In the two years since, Welzorg, which employs 800 people across 43 outlets, has increased turnover by 20 per cent to E143m. A spokesperson for UBS Capital described the exit as 'successful'.

 

The transaction marks the third occasion on which Welzorg has come under private equity ownership since it was privatised by the Dutch government in 1995. UBS Capital acquired the business from a consortium comprising Holland-based private equity firms Parcom Ventures, Alpinvest and Residentie Participaties.

 

Welzorg is being acquired through Industri Kapital’s 2000 Fund. Industri Kapital director Gustav Öhman, who led the deal, said the firm would not rule out the possibility of making any bolt-on acquisitions: “Welzorg is an attractive and profitable growth company. We’re planning to grow the business in Holland and to expand into neighbouring markets. An acquisition is a possibility, but there are no specific plans as yet.”

 

Industri Kapital is in the process of arranging debt financing for the transaction. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close before the end of 2002.