Swedish wheelchair maker buys Belleville’s ROHO

From Illinois Business Journal news services

BELLEVILLE – Permobil, a Swedish-based manufactuer of wheelchairs, today announced that it has acquired ROHO, a Belleville-based maker of customized wheelchair seating applications and related products.

The acquisition marks the next step in what Permobi says is its strategy to become a leading health-care company, providing innovative advanced rehabilitation solutions for people with disabilities.

ROHO was founded by electrical engineer and inventor Robert H. Graebe in 1973.

It has since grown to become the global provider of customized seating and support surface solutions for medical applications, helping people in more than 65 countries around the world, the company said in a release. The acquisition creates new opportunities to develop and grow ROHO’s current business on a global scale and to expand ROHO’s market position, the statement said.

Permobil CEO Jon Sintorn said, “Permobil is dedicated to building a leading health-care company providing advanced rehabilitation technology. I am happy to announce this next step. ROHO brings industry leading technology, medical expertise and top quality products to Permobil, which will further strengthen our ability to meet the needs of the people we serve.”

ROHO CEO and family member’s owner representative Bob W. Graebe, said, “ROHO has been offered an exceptional opportunity to pursue its full potential on a global scale from our facilities in Belleville. Permobil shares our history of being a family company, with a culture of excellence and a clear vision to help people in need, with innovative technology. This is a perfect fit for ROHO.”

ROHO President Tom Borcherding said: “Permobil is a world class company and has successfully driven innovation in the market for advanced rehabilitation technology. We look forward to continue developing our products and technology as part of the Permobil team.”

Larry Jackson, president of Permobil North America, said, “ROHO is a gem in our industry, dedicated to scientific and user centric solutions, just like Permobil. I am proud to continue our journey with ROHO’s outstanding people, technology and brand onboard, as well as its world class facility in Belleville, IL.”

Permobil and ROHO have combined sales of more than SEK 2.5 billion (the Swiss krona currency). The transaction is subject to approval from competition authorities in the USA and in Austria.

About Permobil

Since being founded in Sweden in 1967, Permobil has been committed to enhancing the lives of people with physical disabilities. Permobil has since become the global manufacturer of power wheelchairs, sold across 40 countries.
Focused on the complex rehab segment, every wheelchair is built to order and custom-fit. Permobil is headquartered in Timrå, Sweden, and has approximately 1,000 employees. For more information visit www.permobil.com.

About ROHO

ROHO is a global wheelchair cushion manufacturer. Specializing in seating solutions with shape-fitting technology since 1973, ROHO manufactures and distributes a variety of standard and custom-size wheelchair cushions and accessories, back systems, and support surfaces. ROHO is headquartered in Belleville, has approximately 240 employees and its products are sold in more than 65 countries. For more information visit www.roho.com

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