Lifeway Mobility gets ‘refresh’

‘The added benefit of (the investment) process is (the investor) bringing in new outside ideas, capital and initiatives’
 - 
Friday, September 28, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. – Lifeway Mobility may have a major investor now, but the accessibility solutions company plans to “remain local as we grow,” says President Paul Bergantino.

Lifeway Mobility announced in late August that it had received a “major investment” from Rockwood Equity Partners, a Cleveland-based private equity firm that targets companies that generate $10 million to $75 million in revenues.

“The market is extremely fragmented with many small independent providers and a few franchise models,” Bergantino said. “Our objective is to use the strength of a larger organization yet ‘remain local as we grow’ to build an unprecedented platform from which to scale, launch new programs for consumers and clinicians, and employ many more people. Through this, we will remain adaptable to accommodate the ever changing market and general business environment.”

Lifeway Mobility offers solutions like stair lifts, elevators, wheelchair lifts, ramps and bath safety solutions in all or parts of eight states, primarily in New England and the Midwest.

Lifeway Mobility’s first move with Rockwood Equity’s investment was to, in turn, invest in Extended Home Living Services, a Chicago-based provider of accessibility solutions that strengthens the company’s presence in the Midwest. Owners Elizabeth and Stephen Crandall remain executives and shareholders of the company.

“Our plan is to grow organically and through additional acquisitions,” Bergantino said. “We will add locations and team members, and work to become the leader in the accessibility services space.”

In addition to the investment, members of the Rockwood Equity team will participate on the company’s board of directors.

“We are also in the process of adding outside board members to broaden the skillsets and experience levels around the table,” said Bergantino, who also worked with PE firms at Numotion and formerly ATG Rehab. “We have proven that an effective, efficient and productive board is a key component to a company’s success.”

Lifeway Mobility views Rockwood Equity as a “transitional investor,” with plans to seek a new investor several years down the road.

“(Rockwood) invests in our company, works with the management team to improve and create new value, and then years later they transition out and the new management team continues on to create the next chapter with the next investor,” Bergantino said. “The added benefit of this process is that with each investor transition, it ‘refreshes’ the company by bringing in new outside ideas, capital and initiatives.”