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Tri-anim and Bound Tree Medical Merge to Create Nation's Leading Specialty Health Care Distributor

Water Street Healthcare Partners Leads Combination to Form Nation's Foremost Distributor of Specialty EMS, Respiratory and Surgical Products

SYLMAR, Calif. and DUBLIN, Ohio, June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Tri-anim, the largest U.S. specialty distributor of respiratory products and a leading distributor of emergency medical services (EMS) products, and Bound Tree Medical, the largest national supplier of EMS products, announced today that they have merged to create the nation's leading specialty distributor of health care products. Water Street Healthcare Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused exclusively on the health care industry, brought the two companies together and has committed $75 million in equity financing to expand the combined entity's market-leadership position.

Tri-anim and Bound Tree have more than 60 years of combined experience in the multi-billion dollar EMS, respiratory and surgical markets. Together, the two companies provide more than 100,000 health care products to thousands of hospitals, surgery centers and emergency care providers throughout the country. They generate combined revenues exceeding $400 million, employ 600 professionals and manage 17 distribution centers across the U.S.

"This transformational combination creates the nation's first multi-channel specialty distributor providing hospitals and EMS providers with unparalleled expertise and customer service," said Chris Sweeney, Water Street's principal on the privately negotiated merger. "Bound Tree and Tri-anim set the bar for exceptional product knowledge and world-class customer support. They are both highly regarded leaders in their respective markets. We are thrilled about this combination and see tremendous opportunity for growth, particularly as specialty health care markets continue to expand and customers demand high-quality distribution partners."

Founded in 1975, Tri-anim has rapidly expanded its business across the country. As the number of respiratory illnesses requiring treatment has increased, Tri-anim has become known for providing hospitals with a wide assortment of respiratory products, as well as specialty EMS and surgical products. With the National Institute on Health reporting that more than 17 million Americans are afflicted by asthma, the number of new respiratory products coming to market is increasing exponentially.

"Now more than ever, our customers expect us to be the leader in presenting them with new and innovative health care products, and helping them to select the best products possible to care for their patients," said Bob Byers, Jr., president and CEO of Tri-anim. "We take great care in hiring and training highly knowledgeable sales and customer service professionals who provide our customers with expertise and support 24 hours a day. Joining forces with Bound Tree and Water Street enables us to provide our customers with an even broader range of products and higher level of service."

Bound Tree Medical was founded in 1978 and has grown from a regional supplier into the largest national supplier of EMS products. As EMS providers have shifted from performing basic life support procedures to more complex advanced life support techniques, they have required increased access to specialized EMS products.

"It's critical that we provide our customers with the most advanced products and technologies coming to market, and, just as importantly, with professionals who can address their unique needs and concerns," said Matthew Walter, chairman and CEO, Bound Tree Medical. "Bound Tree's experience in the EMS market, combined with Water Street's experience in multi-channel health care distribution, and Tri-anim's leadership position in specialty respiratory products, will provide our customers with unmatched expertise on a full range of EMS, respiratory and surgical products."

Tri-anim and Bound Tree will continue to operate under their existing names. The founders of both companies will retain substantial ownership positions in the combined entity, which will be managed under the holding company, Sarnova. As a significant owner in Sarnova, Water Street and its team of operating partners, who have led some of the world's largest health care distribution and respiratory businesses, will provide it with strategic guidance and support.

"Our team's expertise in specialty distribution enabled us to successfully bring together two market leaders that will deliver much greater value together than they would separately," said Tim Dugan, managing partner of Water Street. "We are excited to partner with Bob and Matt, who have done an outstanding job of building unique, leadership businesses. Together, we will pursue additional opportunities for growth and create considerable value for customers, employees and shareholders. We already are exploring prospects to expand into new, complementary health care markets that will benefit from our strong national platform for specialty distribution."

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Bound Tree Medical

Bound Tree Medical is a specialty distributor of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and supplies to the pre-hospital marketplace. The company markets its products through a national sales force to EMS providers, fire departments, hospitals, colleges and universities throughout the United States and Europe. The company employs approximately 240 people and has facilities in New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Arizona, California and the United Kingdom. To learn more, visit

About Tri-anim

For more than 30 years, Tri-anim has met the needs and exceeded the expectations of providers throughout the healthcare continuum, including hospitals, emergency medical services (EMS), long-term care facilities, surgery centers and nursing homes. All in-stock orders received -- until 5 pm -- are shipped the same day from one of 13 distribution centers nationwide. Tri-anim employs approximately 350 people and is an industry leader providing e-commerce solutions enabling customers a faster and more efficient procurement method for purchasing medical products. The e-Quick(R) System, a proprietary patent-pending technology, allows customers to place a five-line order in less than 45 seconds. For more information, go to

About Water Street Healthcare Partners

Water Street Healthcare Partners is a Chicago-based private equity firm focused exclusively on health care. One of the most active investors in health care today, Water Street has a strong track record of building market- leadership companies across the health care industry. The firm has particular expertise in corporate divestitures from the world's leading health care companies, including: Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Smith & Nephew and Stryker Corporation. Water Street's team is comprised of highly experienced industry executives and private equity professionals who have worked together for more than 10 years and whose investments include: Access MediQuip, Alpine Biomed, Facet Technologies, Lakewood Pathology Associates, Physiotherapy Associates and Precision Dynamics Corporation. For more information about Water Street, visit

SOURCE Water Street Healthcare Partners
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