Connect America, a PERS and telehealth/remote patient monitoring company based in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has acquired Tunstall Americas, the US division of Tunstall Healthcare Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Tunstall brand name will ‘sunset’ and transition to Connect America, according to the 29 January release. Tunstall employees and offices will, at least for now, be operating from their current locations. The combined company will have 1,000 employees, more than 300,000 shared subscribers, and over 1,000 healthcare network partners.
Connect America is a private company, founded in 1977, and is estimated to have between 250 and 500 employees (Crunchbase); both companies are roughly equal in size. Their website states that they are the largest independent provider of PERS in the US. They market traditional and mobile PERS under the brands Medical Alert, Alert 911, Alert365, AlertMax365 for Men, and Caregiver365. The RPM devices are marketed under ConnectVitals. Richard Brooks, the president of the healthcare sales division, was formerly the president of Health Watch, which was the second largest PERS company in the US at the time of its sale to Philips.
Oscar Meyer, the president of Tunstall Americas, is quoted in the 24-7 Press Release headlined on the Tunstall Americas website, but it is not stated what position he will have in the merged company.
Tunstall Healthcare Group and its main investor, Charterhouse Capital Partners, have been quietly shopping the company for some years. In early 2017, Charterhouse and other shareholders were forced to relinquish nearly half the equity in the company to senior lenders and management amid a stunning £1.7bn debt burden at the end of September 2016 [TTA 7 Aug 2017]. The overall picture has improved somewhat, but is uneven especially in the home markets of UK and Ireland. A report in healthcare market intel company LaingBuisson News on 15 May 2018 reported on Tunstall’s financials for the FY closing 30 Sept 2017. While global revenue improved by 9.1 percent to £240.6m, UK and Ireland revenue fell 11 percent to £82.7m. A welcome sign was that losses narrowed to £46m to £391m, not breakeven but a substantial positive change. Reports on Companies House are not available yet for the 2018 closing.
Despite acquiring AMAC, the third-largest PERS company in the US back in 2011, Tunstall Americas never made much of a dent in the well-established US PERS market nor the difficult telehealth/RPM market, and had gone through many management changes in the past decade. A sale of the US operation, in this context, makes complete sense. Cision-PR Newswire Release. (Interestingly, the US sale release is not on the Tunstall corporate website as of today.)