Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership Expands Offerings in the Healthcare and Medical Markets Through the Acquisition of Helix Medical, Inc.

Oct 19, 2006, 01:00 ET from Freudenberg-NOK

    PLYMOUTH, Mich., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Freudenberg-NOK General
 Partnership announced today that it has acquired the assets of Helix
 Medical, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif. in order to expand the business of
 elastomeric seals and custom molded products for the healthcare and medical
 markets. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
     Helix Medical, Inc. was founded in 1984, by Edmund V. Seder and Edward
 Jesle, and has grown to be a leading innovator, fabricator and supplier of
 silicone components and products to the medical device, pharmaceutical and
 biotech markets in North America and around the world.
     Freudenberg-NOK is based in Plymouth, Mich. and is a world leading
 manufacturer, offering precision-molded products for a variety of markets:
 automotive, aerospace, appliance, diesel engine, agriculture and
 construction, marine, healthcare and medical, off-highway equipment, oil
 and gas, recreational vehicles and semiconductor markets.
     Helix Medical, Inc. will continue to develop and manufacture custom
 molded products, extruded silicone and voice restoration devices at the
 Carpinteria, Calif. facility, located at 1110 Mark Ave. and will continue
 to serve the biomedical and pharmaceutical industries through its sales and
 marketing departments. As Helix Medical remains 100 percent dedicated to
 the development, manufacturing and assembly of its product lines, it will
 also continue to certify the products to ensure they meet the requirements
 for the Quality System Regulation required by the FDA, which all registered
 medical device facilities must meet.
     InHealth Technologies, a division of Helix Medical, Inc., has been the
 exclusive worldwide developer and manufacturer of Blom-Singer(R) voice
 restoration products since 1989. InHealth Technologies will continue to
 operate as a business unit under Helix Medical, LLC. According to
 Freudenberg- NOK, the acquisition will allow InHealth Technologies to focus
 on expanding their scope and quality of their product lines, while
 leveraging the financial resources, extensive manufacturing and R&D
 expertise of Freudenberg-NOK.
     Jobeth Seder Erickson, vice president and general manager of InHealth
 Technologies, believes the acquisition of Helix Medical will be a great
 asset to InHealth Technologies' customers. "InHealth will now have greater
 access to the resources and technologies needed to continue the development
 of innovative products, which will allow InHealth Technologies to improve
 the lives of laryngectomees throughout the world."
     HelixMark and its custom molded services division have partnered with
 many top tier medical device companies, while supplying them components and
 products ranging from the medical specialty areas of neurosurgery to
 chemotherapeutic delivery. "With the technical support and resources now
 available, we expect to grow the business significantly," says Tom
 Vassallo, vice president of sales and marketing. Mr. Vassallo will continue
 his employment and will assume the role as the president of Helix Medical,
 LLC, as both founders Edmund Seder and Edward Jesle retire.
     "Freudenberg-NOK's goal is to grow in the medical component and device
 markets, and this acquisition reflects our commitment to that vision," says
 Dr. Jorg Schneewind, general manager of the special sealing products
 division, Freudenberg-NOK. Dr. Schneewind goes on to say, "We acquired
 Jenline in 2004 as the nucleus of our expansion into the healthcare and
 medical markets, and it outgrew our expectations - we are currently
 doubling the space in our Gloucester, Mass. facility to accommodate the new
 business we have been awarded. With the addition of Helix Medical's product
 expertise and sales team, and Freudenberg's technical and material
 capabilities, we will employ the highest technology available, allowing us
 to successfully meet our customers' everyday needs, worldwide."
     Founded in 1989, Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership is the Americas
 joint venture between Freudenberg & Co. in Germany (through its subsidiary
 Freudenberg North America Limited Partnership, a Delaware limited
 partnership) and NOK Corporation in Japan (through its subsidiary NOK
 Incorporated, a Nevada corporation). Together, these companies make up the
 world's largest producer of elastomeric seals and custom molded products.
 Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership has annual revenues of approximately $1
     For more information, please visit the Freudenberg-NOK website at

SOURCE Freudenberg-NOK