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Our history

Our history

Our operations are based on a genuine passion and extensive know-how in enabling care and improving the quality of life for people with reduced mobility and age-related health challenges, that has been built up over Arjo's 60-year history as a partner for the acute care and long-term care sector.

Entrepreneurial spirit

Arjo was founded in 1957 by Swedish entrepreneur Arne Johansson and was given the name Arjo using the first two initials of the founder’s first and last name. Arjo originally manufactured components and machine parts for other manufacturers, including medical devices. Arne Johansson was one of the first to understand the need for bathing and transfer equipment in healthcare and elderly care as well as for improved ergonomics for healthcare professionals. He developed a series of innovative products that could meet these needs in Sweden. Shortly thereafter, Arjo started selling its products outside Sweden.

Global expansion

At the end of the 1960s, Arjo expanded its products to Western Europe. The products were in high demand and Arjo quickly established several international sales companies, for example, in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, and the US. In the 1980s, Arjo strengthened its position as a key player in the international market with the acquisitions of US company Century and UK company Mecanaids. The international expansion continued and Arjo soon became a global player in products and equipment for hygiene and patient handling.

Strengthened market positions

In 1972, Arjo launched the first height-adjustable bathtub. In 1989, Arjo developed the first generation of SARA (standing and raising aid) and later on the Maxi Move patient lifter system. The development of innovative technology continued in the 1990s focusing on product development in hygiene and patient handling systems.

Listing followed by acquisition by Getinge

Arjo was first listed on the Stockholm and London stock exchanges in 1993. At that time, Arjo had about 1,100 employees and generated sales of approximately SEK 1,300 M. In 1995, Arjo was acquired by Getinge which then expanded its product offering to include medical beds, patient lifts and bathing systems. Arjo thus became the foundation of Getinge’s Extended Care business area.

Further expansion

A number of corporate acquisitions were implemented in the 2000s to continue to strengthen the hygiene and patient handling offering. For example, BHM Medical was acquired in 2004 which broadened Arjo’s range of patient lifts. The significant acquisition of Huntleigh Technology PLC took place in 2007 after which the ArjoHuntleigh brand was established. The first ground-breaking product that Huntleigh launched was the Nimbus mattress system, which is still found in Arjo’s range. The Huntleigh Group operated in the areas of special mattresses for treating pressure injuries, beds for intensive care, specialist care and nursing homes, products for preventing deep vein thrombosis and equipment for fetal and vascular diagnostics. For many years, Arjo represented Getinge’s Extended Care business area. In 2016, the Board of Directors of Getinge announced its intention to divide Getinge into two operations, Getinge and Arjo, to give each company the best conditions for developing and realizing their potential.

Today, Arjo is a market-leading supplier of medical devices and solutions that improve quality of life for people with reduced mobility and age-related health challenges.