After buying Virtus products for 21 years – and for the past 16 years from its Batesville-based location – Hill-Rom leaders decided to acquire the supplier, reported Larry Baumann, Hill-Rom, Chicago, global communications executive director. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The acquisition was final April 1. Virtus operations now report to Valerie Finarty, Hill-Rom vice president of supply chain operations, he added.
Virtus, with annual revenue of $18-19 million, is located at 1896 Lammers Pike, Batesville, she said. The facility had been privately held and majority owned by DCC PLC, Dublin, Ireland, which was founded by Jim Flavin as a venture and development capital company in 1976.
The supplier manufactures finished surfaces for hospital beds and stretchers, plus several hundred components that go into Hill-Rom made surfaces, including a topper, mattress cover and air bladders that go inside some mattresses. The vice president explained, “Hospitals are increasingly looking for bladders that inflate and deflate” to turn a patient over and help prevent wounds.
Finarty observed, “I’m thrilled the Virtus team is going to be part of Hill-Rom. I think they’re a great addition. They have a lot of experience and a lot of knowledge about things we can do better. The focus on quality and ongoing fulfillment to our customers is going to be critical in the coming months.”
Virtus veteran manager John Miller, now Hill-Rom director of Virtus operations, is part of her team. He commented the acquisition “is a good thing for Hill-Rom and also for Virtus. I think integrating our skills here will help Hill-Rom and ... their mattress line.”
“We’re a close-knit team at Virtus,” he reflected. When the announcement was made at the plant April 1 by Finarty; Scott Jeffers, Hill-Rom global supply chain senior vice president; and John Leonard, one of the DCC owners, “overall there was a huge shock.” Leonard, who had been visiting the facility about every six weeks, “came through and talked to everybody. It was an emotional farewell.”