DJO Global, Inc, San Diego, reports that one of its indirect subsidiaries will purchase Rikco International, Mequon, Wis–which does business under the name Dr. Comfort–for some $254.6 million in cash.

Dr. Comfort is a leading developer and manufacturer of therapeutic footwear and related medical and comfort products serving the rapidly growing diabetes care market in podiatry practices, orthotic and prosthetic centers, home medical equipment providers, and independent pharmacies.

DJO said that for the year ended December 31, 2010, Dr. Comfort generated net sales of $71.8 million, reflecting growth of 22.5% over net sales of $58.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2009.

DJO representatives said that donning appropriate therapeutic footwear offers diabetes patients a significantly improved outcome with their disease and improves their overall quality of life, and that medically necessary and prescribed therapeutic footwear can also reduce the high cost of care associated with diabetic foot ulcers and leg amputations.

"Dr. Comfort has expanded the diabetic footwear market by providing the medical community with a broad assortment of high quality and attractive prescription-based footwear styles in a market that has traditionally been served by unattractive and clinical-looking footwear products," said Les Cross, president and chief executive officer. "With innovative thinking and sales channel expertise, Dr. Comfort has driven provider and patient awareness of medically necessary diabetic footwear as an important modality that can prevent more serious diabetic complications such as foot ulcers. As a result, DRC has achieved very strong growth and the market leading position in diabetic footwear in the 8 years it has been in business.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 18.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes, another 6.6 million are undiagnosed for a total of 25.1 million US diabetics. The Department of Human Health and Services also estimates another 57 million Americans are living with prediabetes based on their lifestyles. The cost of the disease is more than $174 billion annually.  The US diabetic footwear supply market is estimated at $150 – $200 million for 2010 and is largely in the early stages of development. It is estimated that of the more than 11 million diabetics who would benefit from therapeutic footwear due to peripheral neuropathy and poor circulation, less than 8% are presently receiving them.

The transaction is expected to close within 30 to 45 days, subject to customary governmental approvals and closing conditions.

DJO Global is a global developer, manufacturer, and distributor of medical devices and services that provide solutions for musculoskeletal health, vascular health, and pain management. The company’s products address the continuum of patient care from injury prevention to rehabilitation after surgery, injury, or from degenerative disease.

[Source:  DJO Global]