Canadian firm to buy Greenville’s Span-America Medical Systems

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A Canadian firm called Savaria Corp. has struck a deal to buy Greenville-based Span-America Medical Systems for a little more than $80 million, the two companies announced.

Span-America was founded in Greenville in 1970, and its shares are publicly traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the symbol SPAN.

It makes therapeutic mattresses, mattress overlays, and other cushioning products for hospitals, home health care dealers, and extended-care facilities. Span-America also sells specialty foam for the consumer market and components to industrial customers.

Tom Henrion, Span-America’s board chair, said in a news release that the all-cash sale price of $29 a share “represents an immediate and substantial cash value as well as a significant premium over our stock price, and we believe it fully values the company for our shareholders.”

Savaria, based in Laval, Quebec, makes a variety of in-home mobility products such as wheelchair platform lifts and customizes vehicles for the disabled.

In a news release, Savaria said one of the benefits it sees in the acquisition is having the flexibility to manufacture certain accessibility products for the U.S. market at Span-America’s 188,000-square-foot factory at 70 Commerce Center in Greenville.

Savaria also said Span-America’s sales infrastructure would strengthen its ability to penetrate government and institutional accounts and that it could market its ceiling lifts through Span-America’s distribution channels.

The two companies’ complementary product lines will provide “customers with a complete safe patient handling and mobility offering,” Savaria said.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

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