Sonova prepares to acquire AudioNova for 830 million Euros

Retail

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In early February 2016, we reported on rumors communicated by Bloomberg that speculated on the sale of AudioNova by the investment fund that holds the company, HAL Trust.

This has now become a reality, well almost. In a press release dated May 4, Sonova announced the signature of an agreement with the Dutch distributor with the aim of acquiring the network for 830 million Euros.

The agreement was signed with the owner of AudioNova, HAL Investments, based in Rotterdam, and will be submitted to the competition authorities. An opinion is expected during the second half of 2016, says Sonova.

AudioNova is one of the leaders in the distribution of hearing aids in Europe, with more than 1,300 centers in eight different countries. Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova, says: “The acquisition of AudioNova is a significant step in further advancing our strategy of offering a full range of hearing solutions along with the professional audiological services which are instrumental to achieve the optimal result for our customers. I am convinced that the combination of our well established and complementary retail networks represents a strong base for future growth.”

After acquiring the French chain AuditionSanté in 2008, Sonova is now reinforcing its presence in the retail sector. With the 1,300 AudioNova stores, this buyout by the Swiss holding group could give rise to one of the largest distribution networks in Europe.

The financing will be ensured by UBS and will result in a debt/EBITA ratio of about 1.2. The share buyback program announced in November 2014 is suspended until further notice.

G.B.

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