Cochlear buys hearing implant rival Oticon Medical

Hearing implant manufacturer Cochlear will buy competitor Oticon Medical for $170 million following a decision by its parent company Demant to exit hearing implants business activities.

Cochlear has committed to providing ongoing support for Oticon Medical’s base of more than 75,000 hearing implant recipients, which includes cochlear and acoustic implants.

Cochlear CEO Dig Howitt said: “Driven by our mission to innovate and deliver a lifetime of hearing outcomes, we will seek to ensure that Oticon Medical’s customers continue to be supported with a lifetime of hearing solutions.

“We will work closely with Demant to ensure a seamless transition, with continued access to current Oticon Medical technology for customers in the coming years.”

Howitt said Cochlear would develop next generation sound processors and services that will enable customers to transition to and benefit from Cochlear’s technology platform over time.

“The acquisition of Oticon Medical will provide us with greater scale and will enable us to increase our investments in R&D and market growth activities.

“While Cochlear is a market leader in implantable hearing, we are a small player in the hearing loss segment where hearing aids remain the primary treatment option.

“Our goal is to improve the penetration of implantable hearing solutions, building customer awareness and confidence, and offering more patients hearing solutions best suited to their individual needs.”

Oticon Medical is expected to add $75‐80 million to annual revenue for the Sydney company. The business is currently loss making.

“Our priority post‐closing of the transaction will be to determine and implement a plan that returns the business to profitability as quickly as possible.”

Cochlear estimates business integration costs could be $30‐60 million.

To comply with French labour law requirements, the proposed transaction will be subject to a mandatory
consultation process with Oticon Medical’s Nice‐based employee works council.

Picture: Oticon Medical/Neuro system

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