We’re all familiar with the UK’s demographic model. An ageing and increasing population combined with rising a demand for private providers means there has never been such a good time to be dealing in mobility equipment.
Despite what you might see on the high street with some bricks-and-mortar retailers closing their doors, the general market is undeniably increasing and that’s good for distributors and manufacturers alike.
One indicator that the industry is growing has been gradually surfacing in the last year or so. It is now quite clear that the healthcare equipment market is becoming very interesting to major third party investors.
Earlier this month, South Wales dealer Snowdrop Independent Living received support for a management buy-out, consisting of £500,000 from The Development Bank of Wales. The money will be used to launch new showrooms and double its staff.
What I thought was interesting was the reasons for the backers making the investment. They were looking for a business that “did something useful”, managing director David Morgan said.
This implies that investors want firms that have longevity built into their DNA, rather than businesses that might make quick cash but may be unsustainable.
Healthcare companies across the board seem to be increasingly popular choices for people looking for tall returns on investment.
Last year, the same bank supporting Snowdrop put £4m behind Middletons Mobility, which is well on track to establishing a network of more than 20 stores in the UK within the next couple of years.
Since then, the market has also seen significant money put behind the likes of Gerald Simonds, AJM Healthcare and NRS Healthcare. While acquisitions happen in every market and are not always a sign of a company’s growth, there certainly seems to have been a spike in interest these kind of firms recently.
I would be extremely surprised if the market does not see a raft of other investments this year. Perhaps it is the promise of future-proof business models or fulfilling job roles that is attracting so many to the healthcare sector.
Either way, more and more opportunities are being spied in our market. And considering the challenges many mobility businesses are up against, I would hope this will be an indication that the future is bright.
Joe Peskett, editor, AMP