BREAKING NEWS 2: Sonova buys Hansaton for ???; ditches Siemens as partner

In yet another blow to Siemens’ new owners, hearing aid manufacturer and retailer Sonova is taking advantage of the surge in the Swiss Franc against the Euro to snap up 100% of Hamburg-based Hansaton Akustik GmbH, along with German retail chains Vitakustik GmbH and Fiebing Hörtechnik GmbH; and also ditching Siemens (a/k/a Sivantos) as their technology partner.

Update 1: At 4 am we received an e-mail from Stäfa correcting our mis-reading of this press release, as the US$47 million figure represents privately-owned Hansaton’s annual sales. However, we remind them that Sonova is a publicly traded company both here in the US as ADR’s and on the Swiss stock exchange; and that the transaction has caused a material change in their financial condition; henceforth investors need to know the purchase price of Hansaton Akustik GmbH, along with German retailers Vitakustik GmbH and Fiebing Hörtechnik GmbH, so they can make an informed judgment as to the condition, much as they did in late 2009 when Sonova purchased Advanced Bionics. We also remind them that they should try to stay in the good graces of the Zürich Stock Exchange and Swiss financial regulators after what occurred four years ago.

Sonova CEO Lukas Braunschweiler

Sonova CEO Lukas Braunschweiler

Sonova CEO Lukas Braunschweiler said in a press release, “The addition of Hansaton reflects our commitment to further develop market access. It will create significant value for Sonova and our customers, notably in Germany.” Uwe Fischer, Managing Director of Hansaton adds: ”Sonova is truly the best owner of and business partner for our company going forward. We will greatly benefit from Sonova’s leading innovation capacity which will further strengthen our brand and help fuel our growth ambition for future expansion.”

This is yet another blow to Siemens/Savantos delivered by Sonova, on top of their purchase of Swedish FM assistive device manufacturer Comfort Audio, announced in June and consummated in October, which builds the FM systems Siemens distributes.

According to Reuters, shares in Sonova were up 1.8 percent higher at 134.50 francs (US$140.74) at 1015 GMT, bucking a 0.4 percent decline in the European healthcare index.

On their purchase of German retail chains Vitakustik and Fiebing Hörtechnik, Braunschweiler adds,“We are convinced that with the expanded strategy in Germany we will help to positively contribute to the market. The professional reputation and standing of audiologists and fitters as well as helping to maintain the highest level of audiological services is very important to Sonova. The move will allow us to assure excellence in customer service both in retail and wholesale.”

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About the author

Dan Schwartz

Electrical Engineer, via Georgia Tech

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