April 2011

DJO Global embraces footwear with $258.4-million deal to acquire Dr. Comfort

In a move that had followers of the lower extremity device mar- kets buzzing, orthopedic device manufacturer DJO Global in April finalized a deal to acquire dia- betic footwear company Dr. Comfort for approximately $258.4 million in cash. DJO’s mid-March announcement of the pending acquisition had put that figure at $254.6 million.

According to a statement released by DJO, Mequon, WI- based Dr. Comfort generated net sales of $71.8 million during the 2010 calendar year, reflecting growth of 22.5% over net sales of $58.6 million for the 2009 calendar year. Dr. Comfort is known as a developer, manufacturer, and marketer of therapeutic footwear and related medical and comfort products serving the rapidly growing diabetes care market in podiatry prac- tices, O&P centers, home med- ical equipment providers, and independent pharmacies.

“Dr. Comfort has expanded the diabetic footwear market by providing the medical commu- nity with a broad assortment of high quality and attractive pre- scription-based footwear styles in a market that has traditionally been served by unattractive and clinical-looking footwear products,” said Les Cross, president and chief executive officer of DJO Global. “With innovative thinking and sales channel ex- pertise, Dr. Comfort has driven provider and patient awareness of medically necessary diabetic footwear as an important modality that can prevent more serious diabetic complications such as foot ulcers. As a result, DRC has achieved very strong growth and the market leading position in di- abetic footwear in the eight years it has been in business.”

The concept of therapeutic footwear as a cost-effective means of preventing ulcers and amputation in patients with dia- betes makes the acquisition a particularly good fit with DJO’s mission to provide effective and conservative treatment modalities while reducing the high cost of health care, Cross said.

“With only a fraction of U.S. diabetic patients who need medically therapeutic shoes actually receiving them, Dr. Comfort has a robust runway for continued growth. Diabetes is a global disease, providing Dr. Comfort with a large international market opportunity, although most of DRC’s current sales are in the U.S.,” he said.

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