New Zealand Firm the Latest Target of Hearing Aid Manufacturer’s Global Retail Acquisition Plans

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Abano Healthcare Group, which is an active investor and operator of healthcare and medical services business across New Zealand, Australia and Asia, has received an unsolicited offer to purchase a 50 percent stake in the audiology company Bay International for nearly three times its estimated value of $11.9 million NZ ($8.1M USD).

The proposal was received from an undisclosed “international hearing device manufacturer”.

Bay International is the owner of Bay Audio, which has a retail network of audiology clinics across Australia and Asia.


No Stranger to Acquisitions


In 2009, Abano sold its interest in Bay Audiology New Zealand to National Hearing Care and acquired a share in the newly merged Australasian audiology business. This share was then sold in December 2010 to the Amplifon Group for an estimated $157.8 million dollars.

Following the sale of its stake in Bay Audiology New Zealand to global hearing aid retailer Amplifon, Abano has since focused on the growth of its audiology businesses in Australia and across southeast Asia.

Shares of Bay International’s audiology business are held on a 50:50 basis between Abano and interests associated with Peter Hutson. The partnership between Abano and Huston has reportedly undergone significant strain since a failed hostile take-over bid by Hutson and private equity firm Archer Capital, to acquire Abano, in 2013. The strained relations between Abano and Huston might make the outside offer even more attractive to the company as it considers the bid.


Deal Not Yet Complete


According to the company, the potential sale process could be expected to take three to four months, but indicated there is “no guarantee” the sale will finalize.

“Following consideration of the proposal, Abano will proceed with further discussions with the hearing device manufacturer”

Abano’s shares rose 2.6 percent on New Zealand’s stock exchange following announcement of the possible deal.


*title image courtesy playerscapital