COLORADO SPRINGS, CO–Westone Laboratories, Inc., a leading manufacturer of hearing aid earmolds, hearing protection devices, and related products, has sold a controlling interest in the company to CID Capital, an Indianapolis-based private equity firm. The terms of the purchase, which took place on December 1, were not announced.
Founded in 1959 by Ronald and Mickey Morgan in the kitchen of their Colorado log cabin, Westone grew into an industry leader under two generations of Morgans. Until the recent sale, it was one of the few remaining large businesses in the hearing industry that were still family-owned. For much of its recent history, Westone was led by Randy Morgan, who died in 2006.
Although CID has bought out the stake held by the four surviving Morgan brothers, Lynn Kehler, the CEO of Westone, said that the purchaser will leave existing management in place and plans no major changes in the 52-year-old business.
Kehler added, “Our alliance with CID will bring the strategic guidance and resources we need to rapidly accelerate new product development, aggressively expand distribution, and pursue potential acquisition opportunities.”
According to the CEO, CID’s investment will enable Westone to expand into the area of consumer products. He said, “We have a unique opportunity to leverage our extensive hearing healthcare and professional audio music background to offer the same premium quality products and listening experience to the broader consumer earphone market.”
Westone had already significantly diversified its product line in recent years. Founded specifically to make supplies for hearing aids, it now also manufactures custom-fitted hearing protection devices for workers in construction, law enforcement, and aviation, as well as custom-fitted earphones for professional musicians. Although Westone doesn’t disclose financial information, Kehler said the company’s sales have doubled since 2006.