Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova to buy retailer AudioNova for $950 mn

Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova yesterday struck a deal to buy one of Europe's largest hearing aid retailers AudioNova for €830 million ($950 million), its largest acquisition to date.

Sonova is buying AudioNova from Curacao-based investment company HAL Holding N V for €830 million on a cash and debt-free basis.

Sonova, which expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2016, said that it has secured debt financing from UBS.

Rotterdam-based AudioNova operates over 1,300 stores in 8 countries, including Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Denmark, France and Portugal.

It has a portfolio of established local and international brands - Geers, Schoonenberg, Minisom and AudioNova, and holds top positions in all of its key markets.

In 2015 AudioNova generated net sales of €360 million.

Sonova said that the merger will create one of the broadest hearing aid retail service networks in Europe with over 2,580 stores in 12 countries and over 3,300 stores worldwide.

Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova, said, ''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.''

Frank van der Vis, CEO of AudioNova, said, ''Becoming part of a financially strong and very well established player in the hearing aid market will help us to achieve our goals. It provides us with both the knowledge of and access to state-of-the-art technologies and the financial strength to realize our potential.''