Legal victory lifts prospects for ReSound

COPENHAGEN—GN Store Nord A/S, parent company of ReSound, will receive a payoff of approximately $530 million, as its share in a settlement reached between Polish Telekomunikacja Polska SA (TPSA) and the Danish consortium DPTG, in which GN holds a 75% interest. TPSA’s payment will resolve a decade-long dispute over revenues from the Polish telecommunications company’s fiber-optic transmission system

The announcement of the settlement led to an immediate 15% increase in GN’s value, as the stock reached its highest level in four years. At the close of trading on January 23, a share cost 58 Danish kroner (about $10)

GN, which is also a leading manufacturer of headsets, has announced that it will use about half the money to pay off debt and the rest to buy back up to 15% of its stock during the course of 2012.

 

A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR ReSOUND

The settlement greatly brightens the outlook for ReSound, one of the five largest manufacturers of hearing aids and related products. In 2007, the company was set to be sold to Sonova Holding, parent company of Phonak. But the deal fell through when the German cartel office ruled that combining two such large companies would create an illegal “oligopoly” in the hearing aid industry.

This unexpected turn of events left ReSound’s future in doubt, and it was widely rumored that the company, which had been founded in California in 1986, was still on the block. Now, however, Mikkel Danvold, head of investor relations at GN, said the parent company has no interest in selling ReSound. In fact, he told a reporter with Bloomberg, “If anything, it would be the other way around. Don’t look at ReSound as prey anymore, but as predator.”