Scotland business

Touch Bionics sold to Icelandic firm Ossur

i-limb ultra revolution Image copyright Touch Bionics
Image caption The Livingston-based firm's bionic hands and arms have been fitted to thousands of people

A Scottish company which became a world leader in upper limb prosthetic technologies has been bought by an Icelandic firm in a deal worth £27.5m.

Livingston-based Touch Bionics was sold to Ossur Hf by its shareholders, which include Archangel Investors, Scottish Investment Bank and management.

Ossur specialises in producing prosthetics, bracing and supports.

Touch Bionics' product range includes prosthetic hands that can be controlled via a mobile app.

It is thought to be the first company to develop an electrically-powered prosthetic hand with five independently-powered fingers.

Touch Bionics employs more than 120 people and has operations in Scotland, Germany and the US.

The company was the first to be spun out of the NHS in Scotland when it was founded in 2003.

Its bionic hands and arms have now been fitted to thousands of people.

Last year, it launched the i-limb quantum, an upper limb prosthesis that can change grips with a simple gesture.

David Gow, founder of Touch Bionics and inventor of the i-limb, said: "As founder, I had high hopes when NHS Scotland supported the original start-up company which later blossomed into Touch Bionics.

"Over a decade later, my aspirations for Touch Bionics have been more than realised and I am extremely proud and delighted that Touch Bionics' new home will be with Ossur.

"I am confident that this will mean that the i-limb and i-digits will be taken forward in safe hands, enabling even more wearers to benefit from this life-enhancing technology."

'Natural fit'

Niki McKenzie, investment director of Archangels, added: "This is a natural fit for both Touch Bionics and Ossur.

"The deal represents a good deal for Scotland, for staff and for shareholders as Ossur plans to retain Touch Bionics' Livingston base and build on the unique expertise that Touch Bionics has built up since 2003."

In January, Touch Bionics reported a sharp rise in sales, following a strong performance in European markets.

Revenue climbed by 11% last year to £15m.

The firm said growth was strongest in Germany and France, where its "i-limb" technology has been approved and funded by French health authorities.

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