Sonova Holding, AG, Stafa, Switzerland, has acquired InSound Medical Inc, Newark, Calif, developer of the Lyric extended wear hearing aid—for an up-front cash consideration of $75 million and earn-out payments, which depend on the company’s financial success going forward, according to Sonova.

Regulatory approvals needed for the transaction have been obtained.

“The growth potential in this segment is immense,” says Valentin Chapero, CEO of the Sonova Group. “In the US alone, there are around 36 million people with mild to moderate hearing loss who do not yet wear a hearing system—many are potential new customers to whom we can now offer a solution, thanks to Lyric.“

InSound Medical will be an independent business unit of Sonova. The acquisition will allow Sonova to penetrate the mild-to-moderate hearing loss population with an extended wear, invisible device. InSound Medical’s future products will be aided by Sonova’s signal processing technologies and microhearing devices, says InSound.

Phonak and Unitron operate as independent divisions of Sonova, and—Sonova Holding has just completed its $489 million acquisition of Advanced Bionics Corp (AB), Valencia, Calif, a developer and manufacturer of cochlear implant systems. Sonova announced in November it had entered into a share-purchase agreement with AB shareholders. With the acquisition, Sonova becomes the first global hearing care company with a strong worldwide presence in hearing instruments and cochlear implant systems. SonovaGroup says it aims to double the revenue of AB within the next 3 to 5 years, and to increase its EBITA margin to 20% or beyond. AB will remain an independent business unit within the Group.

The Lyric device is placed by hearing professionals deep inside the ear canal, near the eardrum, which means it is invisible from the outside and provides a natural hearing experience, notes Sonova. The system can be used for a period of up to 4 months, after which it is removed and replaced by the hearing professional with a new system.

InSound Medical, a medical device company, has commercially marketed Lyric in the United States since 2008 and says the product is now used by more than 3,000 customers. The privately owned company was founded as a startup in 1998 and posted sales of around $5 million in 2009.

Sonova is among the leading worldwide providers of hearing care solutions worldwide.

[Source: Sonova, InSound  and prior HR news stories]