MILAN, ITALY — In a transaction worth €528 million Euros (approximately $617 million USD), Amplifon SpA has reportedly entered into an agreement to acquire the last large, privately-held, hearing aid retail network, GAES Group. Founded in 1949, GAES owns a network of 600 points of sale, with approximately 500 of those located within Spain and the remaining found in Portugal and Latin America.
According to the announcement, Spain is the tenth largest hearing aid market in the world, and the deal will make Amplifon the biggest hearing aid retailer in the country. Additionally, it opens up future expansion opportunities for the company in Latin America.
Shares of Amplifon stock jumped more than 10 percent to reach record levels following news of the planned acquisition.
Top Hearing Aid Retailer in the World
Amplifon has made it clear in recent years that it does not intend to remain on the sidelines as hearing aid manufacturers become increasing involved in retail hearing care–-with Sonova (the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturer) being the most notable example, having acquired Europe’s largest retail hearing aid chain in 2016.
The deal with GAES comes just a few months after Amplifon CEO, Enrico Vita, said his company was preparing to make substantial investments and acquisitions over the next two years in order to improve the company’s position as the top hearing aid retailer in the world.
“This major acquisition represents a key milestone in the history of our Company and perfectly fits Amplifon’s growth strategy, allowing us to consolidate our global leadership and enabling us to become market leader in Spain, as well as consolidate our market position in Portugal while entering also the Latin American region. The combination with GAES’ profitable business, the benefits of greater scale and the strong financial profile will enable us to successfully pursue our recently communicated development plans, thus creating tremendous new opportunities to drive growth, pursue excellence and innovation in customer experience and deliver significant shareholder value. Finally, we strongly believe this deal represents a significant opportunity for both companies’ employees and customers, given both Amplifon and GAES have long histories of unrivalled quality of service and utmost attention to customers”.
–Enrico Vita, Amplifon CEO
The company said the acquisition will increase its global market share to over 11% and expects the transaction is to be completed by the end of 2018, assuming the deal receives required antitrust clearance.