Sivantos and Widex to merge?


© Inkout/iStockPhotos

On May 16, Sivantos and Widex announced their intention to merge to form a joint entity.

In a press release published on May 16, EQT funds, owners of Sivantos, and the Tøpholm and Westermann families, owners of Widex, announced that they have agreed terms to merge the two companies.

Through this strategic merger, they will establish a global hearing aid leader generating combined revenues of approximately EUR 1.6 billion and employing more than 10,000 people worldwide, across 125 markets throughout the world. The transaction values the combined entity at an enterprise value of more than EUR 7 billion. The press release further highlights this merger was established with the “ambition to redefine the competitive landscape for hearing aids serving both existing users as well as improving the offering and access to the millions with hearing impairments.”

The merger aims at accelerating growth of both entities, strengthening market penetration and enhancing efficiencies to enable additional investments into R&D and supply chain.

Marcus Brennecke, Investment Advisor to the EQT funds, says: “Sivantos has developed immensely during EQT funds’ ownership and now the idea is to create a game changer for the future of hearing. Combining these two innovative companies will change the hearing experience for people with hearing loss across the world. In Widex, we have found an equally strong partner to Sivantos, sharing a passion for enriching the quality of life for people with hearing deficiencies. The combined company presents a unique opportunity for EQT to extend the investment horizon in Sivantos and take part of the next phase of transforming the hearing aid industry. With nearly 170 years of combined experience, Sivantos and Widex will take the lead in developing hearing aid technology for future generations.”

Jan Tøpholm, Chairman of Widex, added: “We and Sivantos share a common vision of giving people unlimited access to a world of sound by providing unparalleled hearing aids and customer services. I am confident that our employees, partners and customers will benefit from this merger as it will allow us to accelerate our efforts to pioneer innovation, quality, manufacturing and customer satisfaction. Further we will expand our geographical footprint and provide exciting career opportunities for our employees across countries and functions. The merger fits with the families’ values and long-term goals for Widex and that’s why we have decided to substantially invest to become long-term owners.”

The combined entity will be owned by EQT funds (EQT VI, EQT VII and EQT VIII), including co-investors, as well as the Tøpholm and Westermann families of Denmark.

The Tøpholm and Westermann families, founders and owners of Widex, will be the largest individual shareholder in the combined entity. The new headquarters will be based in Lynge (Denmark) and Singapore. The Board of Directors and Management will have a balanced representation from both companies. Combined R&D resources include approximately 800 specialists in R&D centers located in Singapore, Erlangen (Germany) and Lynge (Denmark) with more than EUR 100 million in annual R&D spending.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The approval process starts today. Until closing, the merger will have no effect on employees, customers or suppliers.

Remember that in 2007, the German Federal Cartel Office (Bunderskartellamt, BKartA) blocked the acquisition of the ReSound group by Sonova.

Source: EQT