Siemens AG is reportedly in advanced talks with at least three potential buyers to sell off its 2-billion euro ($2.6 billion) hearing aid division via a sealed bidding process, according to numerous reports in the business press. As reported in the May 7 Hearing Review online news, the company is also considering breaking off the hearing aid unit from parent company Siemens AG via an IPO. However, continued turmoil in the equity markets has prompted the company to consider an outright sale instead, reports Bloomberg.
Bloomberg last week reported that Stockholm-based private-equity firm EQT Partners AB is the current frontrunner, but the two other firms involved in the sealed bidding process were Permira Advisors LLP and GN Store Nord. However, market analysts at the annual EUHA Congress in Hannover two weeks ago were not optimistic that a sale of Siemens Hearing Instruments to any of the Big 6 hearing aid manufacturers would be a good match. If a deal is to be made from these sealed bids, the Wall Street Journal speculated that the announcement could be made on November 6 at Siemens Annual Conference.
Although the company does not publish separate financials for its hearing instruments unit, Siemens is thought by market analysts to have annual hearing aid sales of about 700 million euros ($880 million) annually, with core earnings of about 160-170 million euros ($201 million).