Swindon & Wiltshire Business News

Major investment set to breathe new life into hospital equipment producer

Chris Munn and Jessica PainterSwindon-based business sale and acquisition specialist Watersheds has secured a multi-million-pound sale of Therapy Equipment Ltd, a leading UK niche hospital equipment producer, to business growth specialists Owner Venture Managers.

The sale will allow Therapy Equipment, which is already the NHS’s largest supplier of suction and oxygen therapy equipment, to grow internationally under its new owner, whilst maintaining production from the company’s longstanding base in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

Founded in 1983 by Chris Munn, Therapy Equipment is a family business known for product and service quality. Since 1995, it has been run by sons Steve and Dave Munn. It employs 28-people and supplies nearly every one of Britain’s 152 NHS trusts, making it the leader in its specific market.

Therapy Equipment’s products will be familiar to everyone who has visited a UK hospital bed, as it provides the regulators, flowmeters and other devices that connect to either the hospital’s installed gas pipelines or gas cylinders. For instance, its Suction Controller and Oxygen Flowmeter are normally installed behind each hospital bed in a modern unit.

Jessica Painter of corporate finance specialists Watersheds, the lead advisor who created the deal, said: “Any sale of a business that has been ‘part of the family’ for 35 years must be handled sympathetically.

"Steve and Dave relied on Watersheds’ advice every step of this once-in-a-lifetime process to help ensure the very best outcome from the sale.

“We secured a value for the shareholders that generously represented so many years of dedication by two generations of the Munn family and allows the business to grow substantially through export-led sales.

“Many business owners looking to sell only consider being purchased by their larger rivals. We involved carefully selected private investment businesses such as OVM, ensuring the family had the highest possible offer.”

Steve Munn, who continues as managing director of Therapy Equipment, observed: “Each day our equipment is helping keep thousands of people alive in the UK’s hospitals, so its quality, durability and reliability has always been our number one priority.

“We were looking to ensure the business was purchased by someone who would share our passion for its importance, and who would also have the strategic vision for the future potential of the business.

“Watersheds, uniquely, base their fees on a successful outcome. I have been led extremely proficiently by the team at Watersheds and have been continuously impressed by their tenacity and drive to achieve what we engaged them to do – get a purchaser with a strong vision about how to get the best future growth for this business. Their professionalism was clear from day one and they demonstrated their commitment every day since to get us the best possible sale.”

OVM, which has purchased Therapy Equipment, is a privately-owned UK-based investment firm that acquires and invests in trading businesses that have a strong track record and are capable of significant future growth.

Therapy Equipment joins its portfolio and will also benefit from the expertise of Frank Collins who joins as executive chairman, bringing a wealth of experience as an NHS leader at both CEO and chairman level.