Sonova, a Swiss company best known for its medical audio products like hearing aids and cochlear implants, is buying the consumer electronics division of German firm Sennheiser. That means Sonova is taking over Sennheiser’s portfolio of consumer headphones, wireless earbuds, and soundbars, moving into an expanding market for personal audio equipment.
Sennheiser announced it was looking for a buyer for its consumer business in mid-February “amid strong competitive pressure.” Although the company’s consumer products hit record sales in 2019, the firm still lost money with profit margins “under pressure” from global rivals. It cut 650 jobs and said “all options are open” to help the division.
Sennheiser’s brand (and products) will live on
Now the company has found a buyer in Sonova. In a joint statement by Sennheiser’s co-CEOs, brothers Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser, the pair said they “couldn’t have asked for [a] better” partner. “A partner who not only shares our passion for audio and a commitment to the highest product quality, but also very similar corporate values,” they write. “This is an excellent foundation for a successful future together.”
In an announcement of the deal from Sonova, the company said it will continue to sell products under the Sennheiser brand. “Combining our audiological expertise with Sennheiser’s know-how in sound delivery, their great reputation as well as their high-quality products will allow us to expand our offering and to create important touchpoints with consumers earlier in their hearing journey,” said Sonova CEO Arnd Kaldowski.
Sonova said the purchase price of the division amounts to €200 million ($241 million), and that Sennheiser’s business generates revenues of €250 million annually. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, but Sonova says it expects to close it in “the second half of calendar year 2021.”