MILAN, ITALY — The world’s largest hearing aid retailer Amplifon SpA doesn’t plan to step aside while hearing aid manufacturers continue to acquire retailers across the globe. In a July 28 interview by Reuters, the company’s CEO says that Amplifon is ready to make “major acquisitions” in order to bolster the company’s position as the number 1 global retailer of hearing aids.
The company, which says it holds approximately 9 percent of the global market, has been recently been focused on buying retail hearing chains in Europe. The competition, however, has increased substantially in the last few years due to hearing aid manufacturer’s growing interest in the retail sector. AudioNova, one of the largest hearing chains in Europe, recently sold to Sonova for close to $1 billion USD–making Sonova one of Amplifon’s biggest retail competitors.
Focus on Bigger Opportunities
Amplifon has so far focused primarily on a large number of small acquisitions, however, CEO Enrico Vita told Reuters that the company is ready for bigger targets. Specifically, he said the company is looking for possibly five or six hearing retailers, with revenues of €100-€200 million euros, in countries like Germany, France, Spain and Austria.
“Our objective is to lead consolidation and to play a role as a protagonist. We are looking at these potential targets in order to be ready in case they become available and up for sale.”
–Enrico Vita, Amplifon CEO
Amplifon, which owns well-known US brands like Miracle Ear and the Elite Hearing Network, has an estimated market value of 2.7 billion euros, less than some of the hearing aid companies that are expanding into retail. Asked in the Reuters interview if this could make them a target for takeover, company CEO Vita responded by saying ,”This is not part of the plan. Our objective is to lead consolidation.”
The company says they are also expanding and building up businesses in emerging markets, like Brazil, India and Turkey, and are optimistic about future opportunities that could become available in China in the next 12 months.