Long Island City, NY —  Hearing aide manufacturer, Widex A/S, Denmark, has announced its Board of Directors has come to a mutual agreement with independent US distributor, Widex Hearing Aid Company, to transfer Widex Hearing Aid Company’s distributorship to Widex USA, a new wholly owned subsidiary of Widex A/S. The agreement was made effective November 3, 2010.

Widex Hearing Aid Company had acted as the exclusive US distributor for Widex A/S for last 54 years.

The press statement said that both companies have, since the early beginning more than 5 decades ago, had a very close and fruitful business relationship. However, the market dynamics in the US have, in recent years, confronted the independent distributor with overwhelming challenges. Margins have eroded and at the same time, the need for significant investments has become necessary to expand Widex’s position in the market and ensure a high quality of service to US hearing professionals.

"As these conditions are not likely to change within a foreseeable future, the situation calls for a different distribution setup based on direct ownership by Widex A/S," the statement read.

Widex will now distribute its hearing aides through the new "Widex USA,” making it the last of the major European hearing aid manufacturers to establish a U.S. subsidiary. All operations of Widex Hearing Aid Company, Inc will be taken over in relation to the transfer of distributorship, and the headquarters will remain in Long Island City, NY.

Through executive vice president of Widex A/S, Anders Westermann, the company praised its long time US distributor, saying in the press release, "It has been a privilege for Widex A/S to have worked with Widex Hearing Aid Company, Inc under the management of Harold Spar and Henry Meltsner and later their sons Eric Spar and Ron Meltsner, and we would like to recognize the excellent and warm relationship both companies have enjoyed over the past. Widex Hearing Aid Company, Inc has played a significant role in the history of Widex, and the company has maintained the Widex brand as a strong brand in the US market, representing an excellent platform for the new Widex USA.”

Ron Meltsner and Eric Spar will maintain an important role in the industry through their company Hal-Hen, a national supplier of hearing aid accessories.

"We trust that all our Widex friends and colleagues will be supportive of our mutual decision, and the Board would like to wish Eric Spar and Ron Meltsner and all the Hal-Hen crew all the best of years ahead," added Westermann in the press statement.

As of November 3, 2010, Jake Haycock has become president of Widex USA. Haycock has been the head of the Widex Canada operations for the past nine years.

In a corresponding press statement, Ron Meltsner and Eric Spar commented, "Widex A/S in Denmark will have the ability to succeed and grow in the future, and this is the reason that we have decided to sell our company to them.  Between Hal, Hen, Ron and I, we have worked closely with our friends at Widex Denmark for nearly 55 years, and enjoyed a very close relationship."

For more information on Widex history, see “Hal-Hen & Widex USA Celebrate Landmarks” in the November 2006 HR.

SOURCE:  Widex A/S