Swiss hearing care equipment manufacturer Sonova has acquired Sennheiser’s Consumer Electronics business. The move comes three months after Sennheiser announced it was searching for a new corporate partner that would take over the consumer division — a move that would allow Sennheiser to focus on its Neumann, pro audio and business communications business units.
Sonova Holding AG, headquartered in Stäfa, Switzerland, is a global provider of medical hearing solutions with three core businesses — hearing instruments, audiological care and cochlear implants. Founded in 1947, it has a workforce of more than 14,000 employees and generated sales of ₣2.92 billion [Swiss francs] (US$3.27 billion) in the financial year 2019/20 as well as a net profit of ₣490 million (US$543.2 million).
As part of the partnership, a complete transfer of the consumer electronics business’ operations is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Roughly 600 Sennheiser employees work for the Sennheiser consumer business.
With the takeover of the Sennheiser consumer business, Sonova is adding headphones and soundbars to its product, which includes hearing aids and cochlear implants, among other hearing solutions. A “permanent cooperation” is planned under the joint Sennheiser brand umbrella in order to continue offering Sennheiser customers first-class audio solutions in the future, and a license agreement for future use of the Sennheiser brand has been made.
The move to partner with another company for the consumer business was not a rushed decision, co-CEO Daniel Sennheiser told Pro Sound News in February: “Looking at [our] different business units in more detail, we realized we need different strategies to make them successful. How we can develop all four business segments at the same time with the necessary power, so all markets that we’re in have great growth opportunities? We saw that the consumer part can be really driven to the full extent if we can find a partner and focus on the pro part.”
Sennheiser co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser noted, “The combination of our strengths provides a very good starting point for future growth. We are convinced that Sonova will strengthen the Sennheiser consumer business in the long term and capture the major growth opportunities.” Both partners see potential for speech-enhanced hearables and for true wireless and audiophile headphones.
Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of Sonova, says: “I am very pleased that Sennheiser has chosen Sonova to further develop the well-renowned consumer division. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and to building on the combined strengths of both organizations to successfully shape our joint future. The fast-growing market for personal audio devices is rapidly evolving. 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.”