EQT funds, owners of Sivantos Pte. Ltd. ('Sivantos'), and the Tøpholm and Westermann families, owners of Widex A/S ('Widex'), announced that they have agreed terms to merge the two companies. The strategic merger of equals will create a global hearing aid leader generating combined revenues of approximately EUR 1.6 billion and employing more than 10,000 people worldwide. The transaction values the combined entity at an enterprise value of more than EUR 7 billion.
Marcus Brennecke, Partner at EQT Partners and 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 have a comprehensive, multi-channel sales platform spanning more than 125 markets. The current Sivantos and Widex sales teams will continue to serve and further develop both traditional retail channels and innovative online channels. The ambition is to create a truly global provider with a complementary offering and touchpoints reaching more people with hearing aid needs across the world and securing second to none service to customers. Around 700 million people worldwide suffer from different levels of hearing loss of which only around 10% currently use hearing aid devices.
Sivantos offers a diverse portfolio of technologically advanced products. Product brands include Signia, Siemens, Audio Service, Rexton and A&M, while retail and online brands include HearUSA, audibene and TruHearing. Sivantos has a strong presence in the online channel leveraging its digital capabilities through its strategic partnership with audibene and has recently strengthened its US footprint through a strategic partnership with TruHearing.
Widex offers sophisticated hearing aid technology focusing on high-end solutions. The key brand Widex is supplemented by the Coselgi brand and local brands in certain markets. Products are offered via wholesalers to governments, retail chains and independent retailers, while Widex has an established presence in the B2C market with sales via own retail and online channels directly to end-users.
Sivantos and Widex combined will become an even more global and growth-focused organization. By joining forces, the combined business will offer its employees even better prospects to develop professionally across geographies and functions.