Hartford's Lifeway Mobility taps private equity dollars for expansion

BY Matt Pilon

PHOTO | Twitter via Lifeway Mobility
PHOTO | Twitter via Lifeway Mobility
Hakan Skenhede teaching safe patient-handling to clinicians at a Lifeway Mobility event in 2015.
An Ohio-based private equity firm said it's made a major investment in a Hartford mobility and accessibility equipment provider.

Rockwood Equity Partner and Lifeway Mobility, which sells wheelchairs, ramps, stairlifts and other products, did not disclose the size of the investment.

In conjunction with the deal, however, Rockwood said Lifeway has acquired a majority stake in a Chicago-area accessibility equipment provider, Extended Home Living Services.

It may not stop there, as Rockwood said it's seeking additional add-ons for its new portfolio company.

Lifeway, which has its corporate offices and showroom on Weston Street in Hartford, also has a Danielson location, in addition to facilities in Massachusetts and Minnesota.

The company was launched in 2015 by Paul Bergantino (president) and Timothy Burfield (chairman), who more than 25 years ago co-founded a rehab company which, after a series of mergers, became Numotion in 2013, according to industry magazine Mobility Management.

Bergantino was Numotion's CEO until 2014.

"Our plan to build the industry's leading accessibility provider includes collaborating with patient care providers, unique direct to consumer campaigns, and investing in leading regional providers throughout the country," he said in a statement Tuesday.

Rockwood, which focuses on lower-middle market businesses in regulated industries, said it's had positive experiences investing in the "complex rehabilitation technology" space.

In 2014, the company bought a stake in a Minnesota-based provider of wheelchair standing frames. Rockwood said it sold Altimate Medical Holdings last year, earning more than four times its initial investment.