MILAN, ITALY — According to an April 1 report in Bloomberg, Amplifon SpA has secured financing for a bid for major European hearing aid retailer AudioNova. Amplifon, which owns major US hearing aid retailer Miracle Ear, as well as the Elite Hearing Network, appears ready to compete directly with likely bids coming from major hearing aid manufacturers William Demant and Sonova. Private equity firm EQT Partners AB, who purchased Siemens Audiology Solutions in 2014 (now Sivantos), could also be interested.
According to reports, AudioNova revenues in 2014 were €333 million euros (approximately $375 million USD), with an operating income of €35 million. HAL Trust, which has owned AudioNova since 2001, could fetch bids near €500 million (approximately $570 million USD).
Increased Marketshare; Could Face Govt Scrutiny
After the report came out that Amplifon had secured financing to bid for the company, shares of its stock went up nearly two percent, following earlier losses.
With nearly 1800 hearing aid retail outlets in Europe owned by Amplifon, adding an additional 1300 stores owned by AudioNova to its portfolio, could potentially draw unwanted scrutiny from various governments within the EU. However, any of the likely bidders named to be interested in the company are likely to face increased scrutiny over the purchase.