Tuesday, 05 November 2019

Collaboration with Vigo to enhance care for patients in Belgium and Poland

Nele Vanhouteghem, Lieve Vanhouteghem, Jan Ruysschaert, Philipp Schulte-Noelle

State of the art: Ottobock expands its PatientCare network

The international med-tech company Ottobock is reinforcing its PatientCare network in Europe through the acquisition of Vigo, the leading O&P specialist in Belgium. The family company is headquartered in Wetteren, Belgium, and has been treating increasing numbers of patients in Poland as well.

Ottobock owner Prof. Hans-Georg Näder and CEO Philipp Schulte-Noelle sealed the deal on the acquisition yesterday, November 4, 2019, in Brussels together with the former Vigo owners, the Ruysschaert-Vanhouteghem family.

Two family businesses join forces in PatientCare

“Both Vigo and Ottobock are family businesses and share the goal of improving the quality of life for patients through individually fitted orthoses, prosthetics, and wheelchairs”, said Prof. Näder, President and Chairman of the Board of Ottobock SE & Co. KGaA. “Foremost, it will be the patients in Belgium and Poland who will benefit from this collaboration”, emphasized CEO Schulte-Noelle. “Vigo’s expertise and local network allow us to further advance our PatientCare offerings in order to work towards the highest possible quality of life worldwide.

“We are very pleased to have found the perfect partner in Ottobock for our company and its 500 employees”, said Jan Ruysschaert, who has led the company together with his wife Lieve and her sister Nele Vanhouteghem. They are the second generation to do so since the founding of the company in 1956. Today, Vigo is the market leader in Belgium. “Vigo will keep growing and developing as part of the European network of our partner Ottobock. Our family will actively accompany Vigo’s development after the sale.”

Vigo runs 17 patient care centres in Belgium and 12 in Poland. The specialist for state of the art orthopaedic technology collaborates closely with hospitals, care facilities, and rehabilitation centres in both countries. Among the products and technologies developed by its research team are innovative orthoses for children. Vigo’s recent annual revenue has amounted to more than 70 million Euros.

Until now, Ottobock did not offer patient care in Belgium. In Poland, it was already running three centres. Together with the Vigo facilities, which will be run independently from those of Ottobock, it has now become the leading provider in this market.

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Mark C. Schneider

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