Directors buy Leeds’ Steeper Group from Dunedin

Leeds-based prosthetics and orthotics company Steeper Group has undergone a management buyout with two directors — CEO Paul Steeper and finance director John Midgley — acquiring the business from UK mid-market private equity firm Dunedin.

As part of the deal, Steeper Group’s bebionic business will transfer ownership to German prosthetics company Ottobock.

Midgley said: “For many years, Steeper has been owned by private equity firms, which has enabled the company to grow to its current position in the market.

“We are delighted to be moving forward on a new journey from this strong base.

“Both Paul and I have been long-standing members of the executive board of directors, and are confident and excited about what the future holds.”

Steeper said: “We have enjoyed our time with Dunedin and greatly appreciate the support we have received.

“We are now looking forward to the future as we seek to further strengthen our existing positive relationships with customers, our distributors and our suppliers, and continuing to provide the best products and services to the industry.”

Christian Mayo and Ben Taylor of KPMG advised the shareholders of Steeper on the deal.

Dunedin said the sale of the hi-tech upper limb prosthetic business of Steeper completed the final exit from its Dunedin Buyout Fund.

Dunedin partner Nicholas Hoare, who led the exit, said: “We invested in Steeper in 2005. Subsequent changes in NHS purchasing and funding constraints meant we had to change strategy and move away from Steeper’s reliance on the NHS.

“The business was refocused from a services business into a global manufacturer of orthotics and prosthetics.

“Dunedin invested further in Steeper to support these growth plans helping it to break into new markets including the US and launching new products such as the bebionic hand.

“The sale to Ottobock is an excellent fit and we are confident that the business will continue to deliver on its growth ambitions.”

Steeper Group was founded in the 1920s by Paul Steeper’s late grandfather, Hugh.

The company initially set out to provide prosthetic limbs to war veterans and since then has expanded across prosthetics, orthotics and assistive technology.