William Demant acquisition of Audika approved

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The French Competition Authority (FCA) has given their approval for William Demant Holding (WDH) to obtain a controlling interest in the Audika Groupe.

The Danish manufacturer announced back in April its signing of a share purchase agreement to purchase 53.9% of the share capital in Audika Groupe – one of the leading networks of hearing healthcare providers in France. William Demant has completed this transaction on September 29, after which, a mandatory public tender offer for the remaining 46.1% of shares in Audika will be launched. This will be at the same price as the acquisition of the controlling interest as required by French takeover regulations.

WDH had wanted to acquire the 476 Audika stores, but they have already have an interest in two French retail chains - Audilab (108 stores) and Auditis (11 stores). The FCA had concerns about market domination in 12 local markets so an agreement had to be reached between WDH and the FCA. WDH is committed to giving up 11 hearing centres to solve these competition problems; they will sell 7 hearing aid centres and end the franchise agreements currently in force for 4 stores.

Established 40 years ago, Audika has 476 centres and employs more than 800 people. The company also has a growing presence in Belgium with six stores opened in the last two years. Company turnover in 2013 was 102.9million Euros. Audika now joins one of the hearing industry’s ‘big six’. William Demant employs more than 10,000 people in manufacturing facilities, hearing aid retail chains, cochlear implant companies and equipment manufacturers across the globe with a turnover of DKK 9.3 billion (2014).

Source: William Demant, Audio Infos France

V.A.