- Amplifon, William Demant, Sonova said to weigh offers
- Investor may fetch about 500 million euros for AudioNova
Investment company HAL Trust is considering selling its hearing aids retailer AudioNova International BV in a deal that could fetch 500 million euros ($559 million), according to people familiar with the matter.
Amplifon SpA, William Demant Holding A/S, Sonova Holding AG and private equity firm EQT Partners AB’s Sivantos AG are among the companies weighing bids for the Rotterdam, Netherlands-based unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The decision making is at an early stage, and the companies may decide against a transaction, they said.
ABN Amro Group NV is managing the process for HAL, the people said. Representatives for HAL, ABN Amro, Milan-based Amplifon, William Demant, EQT and Staefa, Switzerland-based Sonova declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Sivantos didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The hearing-aid industry has been a popular target for acquirers recently. Last year, William Demant, based in Denmark, agreed to buy Audika Groupe of France. In 2014, Amplifon bought a stake in a Brazilian hearing aid supplier as well as Audika’s Italian assets.
HAL, through its subsidiaries, owns and manages a wide range of companies from media to shipping services. At the end of 2014, AudioNova operated about 1,300 stores in a dozen European countries. Its revenues climbed 8.5 percent from a year earlier to 333 million euros, according to HAL’s website.