nvacare Corporation Announces Plan to Phase Out of Lift Chair Business; Golden Technologies Selected to Assume Sales, Servicing and Parts Responsibility


ELYRIA, Ohio & OLD FORGE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2002-- Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) announced today that it will phase out its line of lift chairs in the coming months.

Invacare has entered into an agreement with Golden Technologies to assume sales, servicing and parts responsibility for the current line of lift chairs. Golden Technologies is a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-quality lift chairs and other products for the home care market.

Invacare said the decision would have no effect on employment at the company. Lift chairs account for less than one percent of Invacare's annual sales.

"Invacare has offered lift chairs as part of its line of home care products for many years," said Louis F.J. Slangen, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "However, we determined that the company has better opportunities to deploy its resources, especially in rehabilitation and respiratory products, which are our core strengths."

"As we have previously stated," Slangen continued, "Invacare is committed to a higher level of investment to support product development, brand marketing and other strategic initiatives going forward. For example, our new "Yes, you can" campaign featuring Arnold Palmer will be the largest marketing effort the industry has ever seen. We believe dollars invested in initiatives such as this will achieve a higher payback as compared with continued investment in lift chairs, which has been a minor product line for Invacare."

He continued, "We are pleased that Golden Technologies will continue to offer providers a comparable line of lift chairs along with parts and service support on the Invacare line. Golden is a well-managed company that makes very high quality lift chairs. They manufacture the entire chair here in the United States and have an outstanding reputation for superior service to home care providers."

"We obviously are pleased that Golden will be assuming Invacare's lift chair sales and service," said Richard Golden, chief executive officer of Golden Technologies. "We are well positioned from a manufacturing, distribution and customer support standpoint to handle Invacare's customer's needs. All of us at Golden are excited and look forward to serving our new and existing customers."

Invacare said it will maintain an inventory of its current lift chair line, which has been manufactured by another company to Invacare specifications, through June, and will continue to supply parts through the end of 2002, or as long as it takes its customers to convert to Golden Technologies. In addition, Invacare said it will continue to provide service under existing warranties to Invacare lift chair models that are no longer being manufactured.

Golden Technologies provides the largest line of power seat lift recliners to home medical dealers/providers. Golden Technologies has agreed to educate the Invacare customer base with a Conversion Kit to help Invacare lift-chair customers with a transition to Golden Technologies products and services. This conversion kit will be sent to Invacare lift-chair customers by April 22, 2002.

Invacare Corporation (NYSE:IVC) is the global leader in the manufacture and distribution of innovative home medical products which promote recovery and active lifestyles through more than 25,000 providers. The company, which had 2001 revenues of $1.05 billion, goes to market in the following channels of distribution: home care, mass retail and institutional. Within these channels of distribution, Invacare participates in the following product segments: Home Care, which includes rehab products, respiratory products, manual wheelchairs, home care beds, therapeutic support surfaces and personal care products marketed by Invacare's Home Care Group; Soft Goods and Supplies, which includes ostomy, incontinence, wound care and diabetic supplies marketed by Invacare Supply Group; and Institutional, which includes nursing home beds, patient lifts and slings, nursing home furniture and bathing systems marketed by Invacare Continuing Care Group. The company's headquarters are in Elyria, Ohio, and the firm has manufacturing plants in the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, France, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. For more information about the company, visit Invacare's website at www.invacare.com.