Livingston-based Touch Bionics sold for £27.5m

Artificial limb maker Touch Bionics has been sold to an Icelandic peer in a £27.5 million deal, it was confirmed today.

Nine-year-old Josh Cathcart, who was born with his right arm missing from the elbow down is the first person in the UK to be fitted with Touch Bionics' new bionic hand. Josh was at Touch Bionics, Oakbank, Livingston to complete his fitting with the i-limb quantum. Picture Ian Rutherford

The Livingston-based firm was sold by its shareholders – including Archangel Investors, Scottish Investment Bank and management – to Ossur, which provides “prosthetic, bracing and supports solutions”.

Touch Bionics was the first company to develop an electrically powered prosthetic hand with five independently powered fingers. Its products now include electronic prosthetic hand and finger solutions as well as passive silicone prostheses that closely match the natural appearance of the wearer.

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The business employs more than 120 people across its operations in Scotland, Germany and the US. Touch was the first business to be spun out of the NHS in Scotland, in 2003.

David Gow, founder of Touch Bionics and inventor of the i-limb, said: “As founder, I had high hopes when NHS Scotland supported the original start-up company which later blossomed into Touch Bionics.

“Over a decade later, my aspirations for Touch Bionics have been more than realised and I am extremely proud and delighted that Touch Bionics’ new home will be with Ossur.

“I am confident that this will mean that the i-limb and i-digits will be taken forward in safe hands, enabling even more wearers to benefit from this life enhancing technology.”

Niki McKenzie, investment director of Archangels, added: “This is a natural fit for both Touch Bionics and Ossur.

“The deal represents a good deal for Scotland, for staff and for shareholders as Ossur plans to retain Touch Bionics’ Livingston base and build on the unique expertise that Touch Bionics has built up since 2003.

“We expect Touch Bionics to go from strength to strength as part of the Ossur family, helping to make its i-limbs available to an even broader range of new wearers.”