Nordic Capital

Sunrise Medical, a world leader in advanced assistive mobility solutions, is pleased to announce its strategic acquisition of Ride Designs, a renowned industry leader in premium custom seating systems for wheelchair riders. This acquisition marks a significant expansion of Sunrise Medical’s custom seating offerings, clinical expertise, and service capabilities, perfectly complementing the extensive range of manual and powered mobility products Sunrise Medical already offers.

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Denver, USA, Ride Designs has built its reputation as an industry leader in designing and delivering highly specialised seating systems for wheelchair riders.

In recent years, Ride Designs has also been successfully developing, implementing, and optimizing the advanced 3D printing technologies for mass production of such highly customised products.

The company has thrived by adhering to a set of core principles backed by the in-depth expertise of its founders Tom Hetzel and Joe Bieganek, and the heritage from the prosthetics and orthotics industry, which include direct rider engagement through the Aspen Seating Clinic. In addition, the portfolio of Ride Designs benefits from evidence-based product and technology development supported by broad collaborations and research with reputable institutions and universities. This ensures that the company’s leading-edge innovations are always well integrated with user centric approach and science backed data.

The unique market reach of Ride Designs, through extensive clinical education and certification of skilled complex rehabilitation technology clinicians and providers, also demonstrates a steadfast commitment to clinically differentiated solutions that are optimized to personalized customer care.

Thomas Babacan, President and CEO of Sunrise Medical, said: “We’re very excited to welcome Ride Designs into the Sunrise Medical family. We firmly believe that this acquisition has high strategic importance and offers mutual benefits for both parties. By joining forces with Ride Designs, Sunrise adds a high-end custom seating offering to our Seating and Positioning product portfolio, similar to RGK for the manual wheelchairs range and Magic for the power wheelchairs range.”

“The acquisition not only addresses and significantly expands the broad spectrum of seating and positioning requirements for wheelchair riders worldwide, but also brings valuable clinical expertise and advanced 3D printing technologies and competences into the Group. Together with Ride’s seasoned management team and highly skilled workforce, Sunrise Medical now has an even stronger product range, clinical expertise, and operational competences to offer the best suited seating solutions to all wheelchair riders. This optimises their mobility in terms of clinical functionality, comfort, posture, and skin integrity,” Babacan added.

Tom Hetzel, CEO and Co-Founder of Ride Designs, said: “We’re thrilled to become part of the Sunrise Medical group. Ride Designs has always been dedicated to helping wheelchair riders achieve the best possible fit to enhance their quality of life. This aligns seamlessly with Sunrise Medical’s mission of improving people’s lives. Ride Designs and the Aspen Seating Clinic have long been pioneers in specialised seating development. We’re especially proud of our latest 3D printing technology manufacturing capabilities.”

He added: “We’re very passionate to bring our advanced, clinically differentiated solutions to as many riders as possible. The strengths of the two companies complement each other very well. Sunrise Medical’s existing comprehensive mobility offering, global sales networks, business resources, and infrastructure will significantly accelerate Ride’s global outreach and expansion. We’re committed to providing uncompromising solutions to address skin and postural challenges, and we believe that Sunrise Medical is our strongest partner in achieving our mission.”

Ride Designs adds to Sunrise Medical’s strong track record in M&A which is a key pillar in its business strategy. Recent successful strategic acquisitions in 2022 include The Helping Hand Company, a UK-based company specializing in pressure management and pediatric products, and Budapest-headquartered NOW Technologies, a technological research and development company focusing on digital and software innovations of wheelchair control systems.

In 2020, Sunrise Medical also acquired James Leckey Design, along with its subsidiaries Firefly Friends and Vida Global, a global leader in specialized pediatric therapeutic devices, as well as Oracing, a Spanish designer and manufacturer of innovative made-to-measure sports wheelchairs and power assist products. With the Ride Designs acquisition, Sunrise Medical and Ride Designs aim to revolutionise the world of custom seating and further empower wheelchair riders to live their lives to the fullest.

For more information, please contact:
Carol Liu
Senior VP Corporate Development & Strategic Marketing, Sunrise Medical

About Sunrise Medical
Committed to improving people’s lives, Sunrise Medical is a world leader in design, manufacturing and distribution of innovative, high-quality assistive mobility products and services. Distributed in 130+ countries under its own 17 proprietary brands, the key products include manual and power wheelchairs, power assist products, motorised scooters, seating & positioning systems, and daily living aids. Operating in 23 countries, Sunrise Medical is headquartered in Malsch, Germany, and employs 2,600+ associates worldwide. To find out more, please visit

About Ride Designs
Sharing in that commitment to improving people’s lives, Ride is committed to creating wheelchair seating systems that help protect skin, enhance mobility, improve function, and optimize posture. Ride Designs hosts the Aspen Seating Clinic at our Denver, Colorado headquarters where world class athletes and Paralympians, as well as the most discerning of wheelchair riders, come for seating solutions. With its beginnings in 1998, Ride Designs has expanded its presence across North America and beyond.

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