A hospital-bed maker with its North American headquarters in Charlotte has signed a new distribution deal it hopes will help it grow sales and eventually build a local manufacturing facility.
Linet, a leading European maker of hospital beds, opened its North American headquarters in Charlotte in 2010. The company now has a deal with Charlotte-based Premier, a health care purchasing alliance with 2,700 member hospitals.
Premier has been a target of ours really since we opened our doors, said Colin Bain, CEO of Linet Americas. Our long-term goal is to continue to invest in Charlotte, and at some point, based on volume, we need to establish a manufacturing footprint here. The deal with Premier takes effect March 1.
He said the company has grown to about 30 employees at its Charlotte location.
If the manufacturing facility is opened here, Linet would add 120 to 150 jobs, Bain said.
The company is about three to four years from taking that step, said Bain.
Bain credited the Charlotte Chamber with introducing Linet executives to Premiers team.
Linet is based in the Czech Republic, and currently manufactures its hospital beds in Europe.
Hospital beds can cost anywhere from several thousand to $35,000, and are often replaced in large blocks, dozens or more at a time.
They represent a major investment for hospitals, and Bain said Linets offerings are designed to help hospitals cope with new generations of older patients with heavier body weights and more complex illnesses.
For example, the hospital beds have a built-in cane and lift system to help patients stand up and reduce the strain on nurses who typically have to give patients a bearhug and lift them into a standing position.