VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON — Multiple sources report today that GN ReSound has signed a long-term supply agreement with Audigy Group, which includes a contingent agreement to acquire the company. According to Global Newswire, the supply agreement goes into effect as of today. The agreement to acquire Audigy is contingent on approval from the US government anti-trust authorities; other closing conditions were not disclosed.
GN Store Nord A/S, reported to be the world’s third-largest listed producer of hearing aids, reportedly paid as much as $151 million for the Vancouver, Washington company. Per Bloomsberg Technology, GN will pay $91 million up front and as much as $60 million more depending on Audigy’s financial performance.
Bloomsberg also reports that the total purchase of Audigy by GN Resound is made up of two components: an up-front payment of $91 million and earn-out payments of up to $60 million, which depends on the company´s financial success going forward.
Audigy, the Latest in String of Recent Acquisitions
Audigy was founded in 2004 by Brandon Dawson. It is reported to have more than 250 network members. In 2015, members of the Audigy network sold more than 80,000 units through 600 points of sales across North America.
This deal comes of the heels of the recent announcement that Sonova is acquiring European retail giant AudioNova, and last year’s acquisition of France’s Audika Groupe by William Demant. Currently, more than 90% of hearing aid sales are controlled by six global companies.
Post-Publication Addendum, 5/18/16
Given the magnitude of the recent GN Resound – Audigy transaction, we provide our readers with a few pieces of information to put the agreement in context. According to industry insiders, including the analysts at Bernstein Research, members of the Audigy Group network dispensed more than 80,000 hearing aid units in 2015, through 600 points of sale in North America.
These figures equate to about 3% of the total private market in the U.S. Audigy’s estimated 2015 revenues were around $35 million.
Further, experts project that the supply agreement with GN Resound will be worth an estimated 9% to hearing aid sales revenue for their North America business. Of course, Audigy’s long-time suppliers Starkey and William Demant stand to lose a substantial number of units, with experts estimating that Starkey and William Demant, respectively, have about 40% of Audigy’s business. This figure represents $20 to $25 million in U.S hearing aid sales.
While it is unlikely Audigy members will exclusively use one supplier, for William Demant, this is projected to be a potential loss of around 4% of their total U.S hearing aids sales. Because Starkey is a private company, revenue projections are not reliable.
It is also helpful to compare the GN Resound – Audigy agreement to the recent announcement that Sonova is planning to acquire the European retailer, AudioNova. It was reported earlier this month that Sonova will pay approximately $954 million for just over 1,300 store locations. The projected 2016 revenue of AudioNova is $373 million USD. On Monday, it was announced that GN Resound would pay up to $151 million for the 250+ Audigy network, comprised of 600 points of sales.
Audigy members were contacted by HHTM for this story, but have declined to comment at this time.