COHR acquires MRI service talent through purchase of Vision Medical

Multivendor ISO fills war chest to fund expansionLos Angeles-based independent service organization COHR expandedits presence in the MRI service sector this month by acquiringVision Medical Services of Ontario, CA.Vision was formed in 1993 and

Multivendor ISO fills war chest to fund expansion

Los Angeles-based independent service organization COHR expandedits presence in the MRI service sector this month by acquiringVision Medical Services of Ontario, CA.

Vision was formed in 1993 and generated about $4 million in revenuelast year, according to Paul Chopra, COHR chief executive officer.Vision employs 21 people who maintain MRI equipment from officesin Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland,New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Its service base includesscanners made by GE, Siemens, Philips, Picker, Hitachi, and Toshiba.

Along with the service group, COHR gained exclusive future U.S.distribution rights for the Ortho 8000 MRI scanner. Vision contractedin October 1995 with InnerVision MRI, a London-based niche MRIdeveloper, to distribute the 0.18-tesla dedicated orthopedic MRIsystem (SCAN 10/11/95). InnerVision was preparing a Food and DrugAdministration 510(k) application for the device at the time.

Purchase terms were not disclosed, but the deal was consistentwith COHR's pro forma approach of paying two to three times annualearnings for its ISO acquisitions, Chopra said. Vision will berun as a wholly owned subsidiary of COHR MasterPlan and will retainits individual corporate identity.

The Vision purchase is also in tune with Chopra's plan to makeCOHR a national ISO power. COHR has bought 14 companies in thelast 18 months, according to Chopra. Other recent imaging equipmentISO acquisitions include DAL Services of Towaco, NJ, and GoldCoast Imaging of Fort Lauderdale, FL, a company that possessesMRI maintenance capabilities.

COHR went public in February in an initial public offering thatgenerated $27.9 million for the company, which was organized in1976 to provide comprehensive equipment maintenance for the 300hospitals and physician offices affiliated with the HealthcareAssociation of Southern California. Most of that money will fuelmore acquisitions, according to Chopra.

"Like the hospital industry, the ISO industry is consolidating,"he said. "

There are lots of mom and pop operations, and we're acquiringthem not just for their revenue, but for the talent they represent."

The Vision acquisition is also a boon to COHR's nascent internationaloperations, according to Chopra. COHR openedoffices in New Delhi,Bombay, and Hyderabad, India, in November 1995 to sell and servicerefurbished medical imaging equipment.

"Now, we can train our Indian technicians to service MRIsystems as well," he said.