In a deal, estimated to be $8.2 billion, Germany’s Sivantos and Denmark’s Widex announced a merger. The newly merged company is expected to be the third largest hearing aid manufacturer in the world, after Sonova and William Demant.
Early reports suggest that Swedish private equity firm EQT will own a majority of the merged group in which the Tøpholm and Westermann families, who currently own Widex, will retain large stakes. EQT bought Sivantos from Siemens in 2015 for more than 2 billion euros. The companies declined to comment on the relative valuation or to disclose the distribution of stakes.
The deal was branded a “merger of equals”, indicating that no cash was involved.
Sivantos-Widex Merger: New Company Poised to Overtake Rivals?
According to a Reuters report, the combined group, whose name has not been decided, will have 1.6 billion euros in sales and employ more than 10,000 people worldwide, including 800 in R&D. Reuters also reported that the merger will likely push back EQT’s plans for a stock market listing of Sivantos by a few years, because the two companies will focus on integrating their companies and advancing their digital technology.
Analysts at the well-respected, Bernstein, said in an early morning May 16 report that increasing Research & Development investment may allow Sivantos and Widex to draw ahead of peers and that the new entity may be happy to experiment with new channels and approaches to market. “With around a third of Demant and Sonova sales coming from owned retail, this would be bad news particularly for those players,” Bernstein said in their report to clients.
The news of the merger brought shares in Sonova down nearly 3%, while GN Store Nord traded down at nearly 2% in early trading in Europe today. Industry experts believe Sonova, William Demant and the newly formed Sivanatos-Widex company would each have an around 25% market share, followed by GN Store with 16% and Starkey with 9%.