UM Holdings Ltd. is a privately-held firm founded in 1972. The firm owns and manages a portfolio of companies with a mission to increase net worth through appreciation in the value of an evolving array of assets. UM takes either a controlling or minority position in businesses that demonstrate profit and growth potential with prudent risk.
UM Holdings Ltd. (UM) was incorporated in 1972 as Anthropometrics Inc. with an initial capitalization of $150,000 from private individuals, including its founders, Joan Carter and John Aglialoro. The company was established as Anthropometrics Heart Clinic with the premise that cardiovascular stress testing, then primarily conducted in university settings, could have a commercial application.
The Heart Clinic facility was licensed by the State of New Jersey to perform cardiac rehabilitation, cardiovascular stress testing, and Holter monitoring (24-hour electrocardiograms). In 1975, reflecting the rapid growth of Holter monitoring, CardioData Services (CDS) was formed and began performing services for hospitals and physicians.
To increase yield from its hospital and physician client base, diagnostic services were expanded to include pacemaker testing and cardiac event monitoring. Through a series of small acquisitions (over 30) as well as organic growth, CDS grew to be one of the largest cardiac diagnostic testing companies in the country. After years as a profitable cash flow generator, Cardio Data Services, Inc. was sold to Raytel Medical Corporation in 1996.
In 1981, the Company raised $5 million with an Initial Public Offering, changing its name from Anthropometrics to United Medical Corporation. An additional $11 million was raised with a secondary offering in 1985. The stock market in 1993 treated many companies managing for long term asset appreciation unfavorably; UM’s stock traded at 60 percent of book value. At the recommendation of the Board of Directors, the original founders repurchased all outstanding shares, at a premium, returning to private ownership under the UM Holdings Ltd. name.
In the early 80’s, CardioData expanded its diagnostic testing expertise to a new client base, securing contracts with pharmaceutical companies and forming CDS Research. Simultaneously, UM was pioneering the concept of computerized new drug applications to the Food and Drug Administration through the acquisition of Research Data Corporation. Another acquisition added outsourced drug research services and all were merged into a contract research organization called Premier Research Worldwide. Premier successfully completed an Initial Public Offering in 1997 (NASDAQ: PRWW). UM divested its remaining holdings in 2000.
Nationwide changes in the delivery of healthcare in the late 1970’s, created a commercial environment for third party providers of medical services, particularly cardiac services, performed on an out-patient basis. Responding to this need, UM added to its original Heart Clinic stress testing and cardiac rehabilitation through the acquisition of the cardiac rehab division of American Sterilizer. Eventually, more than 100 centers, under the corporate umbrella of Cardiac Treatment Centers, Inc., operated nationwide before divestiture in the mid-1980s.
In 1983, Trotter Treadmills was added to the UM portfolio. Trotter was a manufacturer of premium quality exercise treadmills primarily for the affluent consumer market. Revenues of $2 million in 1983 grew to approximately $50 million in 1996. In early 1997, Trotter merged with CYBEX, a publicly traded manufacturer of strength equipment forming the new Cybex International (originally AMEX:CYB and later, NASDAQ:CYBI). The merger created a full line of superior fitness products and positioned CYBEX as the leader in the high-end fitness equipment market with UM owning 49% equity in the company. In 2013, UM purchased the remaining shares, returning Cybex to private ownership. After owning and operating Cybex for over 30 years, UM sold the company in 2016 to Brunswick Corporation (BC: NYSE).
Leveraging its reputation in health care, the Company started Renal Care Centers in 1983 to provide management services of outpatient dialysis units. From internal growth and a series of acquisitions, the business grew to 22 centers in five states. It was sold to W.R. Grace in 1989.
Life Extension Institute was acquired by UM in 1986. Founded in 1913 and headquartered in New York City, Life Extension offered high-quality physical examinations for individuals and corporate executives nationwide in an up-scale environment. In 1995, the Company doubled its size by acquiring its major competitor, Executive Health Group, and retained the name of Executive Health Exams. Reflecting the company’s strategy to provide preventive health services to entire employee populations rather than just upper management, the name was changed to EHE International. The company is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of physical exams with 125 affiliates nationwide and its own facilities in 8 major cities. EHE currently provides over 25,000 exams annually for corporate clients, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies. In 2016, UM sold EHE to a growth equity firm, Summit Partners, owner of a wide variety of healthcare service companies.
In 1995, UM acquired an airline start-up venture known as Eastwind Airlines operating between Trenton, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts. The airline was unable to expand, initially due to lack of available aircraft and later, due to the skyrocketing fuel costs of the late 90’s. It was shut down in 2000.
PetroChem Inspection Services was added to the investment portfolio in 1997. Specializing in the outsourcing of inspection services to petroleum, gas, and chemical companies, PetroChem’s growth strategy was to act as a consolidator in this highly fragmented business. Three additional inspection companies were acquired over the next year and headquarters were consolidated in Houston. PetroChem was sold in 2007 to TUV Süd, a German-owned industrial service provider, who planned to use PetroChem as a platform for their own US roll-up.
UM became involved in the movie business in 2010 when its Chairman, John Aglialoro, created Atlas Productions, Inc. to bring “Atlas Shrugged”, Ayn Rand’s best-selling novel to the screen. Following the theatrical release of the three movies comprising the Atlas Shrugged Trilogy, UM formed Atlas Distribution Company to bring other selected films to US theaters. Films Atlas Distribution has been involved in include A Royal Night Out (2015), Simon Pegg’s Absolutely Anything (2017), London Fields (2018), High Strung Free Dance (2019), Chasing Einstein (2019) and many more. The company developed proprietary software to test screen movies contemplated for release in theaters called “iScreeningRoom”, which is now part of CinemaCloudWorks a suite of theatrical distribution software applications.
In 2016, UM acquired majority interest in Gym Source, the nation’s oldest and largest distributor of specialty fitness equipment. With 35 retail stores, the company sells fitness products both for the home and for commercial facilities such as health clubs, multi-family housing and corporate gyms. UM announced its plan to grow the Gym Source business both organically and through acquisition.
UM Holdings Ltd. has also had investments in printing, leasing, hospital supply packaging, medical distribution, medical equipment manufacturing and real estate.