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Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership Expands Offerings In The Healthcare And Medical Markets Through The Acquisition Of Helix Medical, Inc.

10/19/2006 12:14:21 PM

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 billion.

For more information, please visit the Freudenberg-NOK website at


CONTACT: Adriana Ferrari or Tina Sullivan, both of Bianchi PublicRelations, +1-248-269-1122; or Becky Schloff of Freudenberg-NOK,+1-734-354-5351

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