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Fortis Private Equity acquires Innovative Medical Solutions


Brussels / Utrecht, 2 November 2006

Fortis Private Equity has acquired all shares in Dutch-based Innovative Medical Solutions BV (IMS) together with the company’s management team.

IMS is a leading European developer and worldwide supplier of branded medical and wellness products. Its brands have enjoyed an excellent reputation for more than 30 years and are distributed in over 70 countries. The operations are conducted from the Benelux countries and Germany and are grouped under GymnaUniphy (Bilzen) and Uniphy Elektromedizin (Berlin).

GymnaUniphy and Uniphy Elektromedizin offer a complete range of medical equipment (physiotherapy and rehabilitation markets) and wellness devices (fitness, professional sports and beauty markets). Their products include treatment couches, and electrotherapy, ultrasound, vibration, laser and thermotherapy equipment and are sold under the well-known brand names Gymna, Uniphy, FitVibe and ShockMaster.

Product innovation and international sales and marketing are the core activities of the IMS group. The company has a worldwide reputation for top quality and added value in its segment.

Rob Vliek, CEO of IMS says: “IMS is well positioned to respond to trends such as increasing obesity, population ageing, and a growing awareness of illness prevention and wellbeing. Our new partnership with Fortis Private Equity will support our ambitious growth strategy and give us the financial scope to continue to play a role as a key supplier of innovative and high-quality products. To strengthen our market position we need to continuously invest in research and development and extend our distribution channels. I am delighted we have been able to team up with such a strong financial partner as Fortis.”

Brigitte Boone, CEO Fortis Private Equity & Structured Finance, adds: “The management buyout of IMS illustrates our investment strategy of focusing on successful medium-sized enterprises that boast market leadership, healthy growth perspectives and committed management teams. IMS is an important market player in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Spain in the business of electromedical equipment, treatment couches, whole body vibration and devices for the treatment of chronic diseases. Its advanced technological knowhow in the medical domain means the company is excellently placed to enhance its position in the fast-growing market for branded medical and wellness products. As an active partner we will use our global network to support the company in fulfilling its international growth plans.”

About Innovative Medical Solutions
With sales of more than EUR 20 million, IMS is one of the leading European developers and suppliers of branded medical and wellness products to physical therapy practices and fitness/wellness centres. Its main product lines are:
* Electromedical devices and accessories used in treatments such as electrotherapy, ultrasound, shortwave and microwave therapy, cryotherapy, and laser and shock wave therapy (a revolutionary device for the treatment of chronic diseases, sourced through a strategic partnership with Storz of Switzerland)
* Training and rehabilitation equipment
* Adjustable treatment couches
* Whole body vibration plates, sold under the FitVibe brand

IMS BV is the holding company of the fast-growing GymnaUniphy and Elmed operations. Gymna (founded in Bilzen in 1963) and Uniphy (founded in Eindhoven in 1979) merged into GymnaUniphy in 2001. Today, GymnaUniphy’s name is synonymous with innovation and excellence. Having established a reputation for quality, GymnaUniphy is now a leading player in the physical therapy and rehabilitation markets and is well placed to build on its leading position in medical applications for whole body vibration through FitVibe vibration plates. FitVibe is the world’s second-largest technological firm in its field, following Powerplate, and is positioned in the top segment of the wellness and fitness markets. IMS generates 55% of its sales in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. Sales outside these traditional core markets are growing rapidly.IMS and its subsidiaries employ 60 FTEs.
More information is available at
Fortis is an international financial services provider engaged in banking and insurance. We offer our personal, business and institutional customers a comprehensive package of products and services through our own channels, in collaboration with intermediaries and through other distribution partners. With a market capitalisation of EUR 42.8 billion (31/10/2006), Fortis ranks among the twenty largest financial institutions in Europe. Our sound solvency position, our presence in 50 countries and our dedicated, professional workforce of 58,000 enable us to combine global strength with local flexibility and provide our clients with optimum support. More information is available at

Fortis Merchant Banking
Merchant Banking is the international wholesale bank of Fortis. As a focused and worldwide organisation, we provide tailored financial services to corporate and institutional clients. We are active in several areas, including treasury, fixed income, energy, commodities and equities (including derivatives and structured products), corporate finance, capital markets, cash management, asset financing, project finance, private equity and structured credits. Merchant Banking is specialised in the areas of fund administration, global custody, securities lending and clearing services.
Fortis Private Equity, part of Fortis Merchant Banking, manages all of Fortis’s private equity assets. Its total direct and indirect investment portfolio amounts to upwards of EUR 1.2 billion. Private Equity teams based in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Asia concentrate on direct investments. Fortis Private Equity is also building up a diversified fund-of-funds portfolio through indirect investments, principally in buy-out and capital venture funds in North America, Europe and, since recently, in Asia. More information is available at


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