Today, an article from Becker's Hospital Review
came out identifying the top 13 areas for Healthcare investing, along with a few that are slowing down rapidly. Not surprisingly, Wound Care made the list at #9.
For years, we have watched a series of mergers, acquisitions, and occasional start-ups become funded by a variety of venture capital firms. What once was a fairly large number of Wound Management companies has slowly reduced to a small handful of us left. We have seen this trend be both positive and negative. Rapid growth is phenomenal. ( WCA was named one of the nation's fastest growing companies in the annual Inc. 500||5000
for both 2010
) However, a focus on the number of centers rather than the strength and quality of your relationships can be detrimental.
Since our inception, Wound Care Advantage has been an "organically" grown company, meaning our income is dependent on the quality of service we provide our clients and their willingness to refer us to other hospitals. We have been contacted by several private equity firms over the years, especially lately, yet to date, I have not found a company that I feel shares our vision and focus.
According to the article; "A variable explosion of private equity investing in wound care firms has been occurring. "Apax Partners bought Kinetic Concepts for close to $5 billion dollars, Edgewater Funds invested in Wound Care Solutions (also known as Diversified Clinical Services), [and] Metalmark Capital Partners invested in National Healing Corporation." With the ever increasing epidemic of diabetes, obesity on the rise, and an aging population, this sector will continue to provide a strong area for investment for several years. There is a great deal of action in our industry at this exact moment with potential sales and a great deal of private equity interest.
The question always remains, do you get a better company with a large investment, or one that loses it's innovative edge? I would enjoy hearing your take.