Sectors: TMT, Healthcare
Deal Type: MBO, Exited - Trade Sale
Transaction Value: Not disclosed
In December 2005, Dunedin invested in the management buyout of Steeper, the UK’s leading supplier of rehabilitation services including prosthetic, orthotic and electronic assistive devices and services. Dunedin provided equity finance alongside a senior debt facility which was provided by Barclays Bank.
Steeper provides rehabilitation solutions to enable patients to live full and independent lives, including artificial limbs, specialist footwear, braces and supports and electronic devices to aid daily living. The majority of the company’s business is concerned with supplying the needs of the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK.
An internationally recognised leader in the field, the company has consistently provided high quality services and products to patients in both the public and private sectors since the 1920s. Steeper is headquartered in Leeds, and employs over 300 people.
The original investment thesis for Steeper was to further consolidate the market position of the business by both driving more value from existing customers and by successfully winning new contracts. At the time of the investment the main focus on the value creation plan was Steeper's services business.
Subsequent to the investment a change in NHS strategy led to Steeper having to re-define its strategy placing significantly more emphasis on its products business.
This change in strategy would not only allow the company to successfully meet the changing needs of the core NHS customers in the UK but also to develop an international franchise in the design and manufacture of prosthetic and orthotic products.
Dunedin and the company agreed that the most attractive area of unmet need in the prosthetic product market was for high quality, high functionality and low cost upper limb prosthetics.
Dunedin subsequently supported the development of the new product (called Bebionic) investing £1.5m of additional funding to support the Research & Development required. The product has met or exceeded all its design parameters and has been widely praised by customers.
Today, while the company’s services business continues to perform within the constraints of the NHS, the company’s product business is growing internationally.