The consumer brand of Sennheiser, which includes its popular premium headphone range, has been bought by leading medical hearing solution provider, Sonova.
Switzerland-based Sonova Holding AG and Sennheiser co-CEOs Daniel and Andreas Sennheiser confirmed the deal, worth a reported €200 million ($241 million), in separate statements.
Sonova has said that the all-cash transaction will be completed by the end of 2021, subject to regulatory approval, and will give it a permanent licensing agreement for the Sennheiser brand.
Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO at Sennheiser said, “We couldn't have asked for a better partner than Sonova for our consumer electronics business.” He added, “Not only do we share a passion for unique audio experiences, we also share very similar corporate values. This gives us an excellent foundation for a successful future together.”
The new partnership will see a complete transfer of Sennheiser’s consumer electronics business to Sonova, however both companies will work together under the Sennheiser name going forward with products and solutions still being provided under the brand. Currently, a total of 600 Sennheiser employees work for Sennheiser’s consumer business.
Sonova will now be able to add headphones and soundbars to its portfolio of hearing aids and cochlear implants and will now leverage the Sennheiser brand recognition to expand its business to a younger demographic through the emerging segment of in-ear and speech enhanced wearable technologies.
And it’s easy to see the attraction of products that deliver audio quality as well as protect the wearer's hearing over long term use as this personal audio market expands.
The deal does not affect the remaining parts of Sennheiser’s operations, namely the Pro Audio, Business Communications and Neumann divisions which Sennheiser stated back in February that it intended to concentrate on as a means of pushing its business on.
Sonova meanwhile will be faced with pivoting towards a new market sector, albeit with all the expertise that it gains from Sennheiser’s CE division, which essentially remains intact under its wing. It will also benefit from the considerable reputational heft that the Sennheiser brand has around the world.
Arnd Kaldowski, CEO of Sonova, said, “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. Combining our market-leading technology with the strong brand and well-established distribution network of Sennheiser creates a strong foundation for future growth.”
While the synergy between the companies is clear as far as headphones goes, it’s less clear cut with regards to soundbars and it will be interesting to see what Sonova does with products such as the highly regarded Sennheiser Ambeo soundbar going forwards.
What do you think of this news? Does a new company behind the Sennheiser name signal unwanted changes to products that already work well or will it bring new and surprising innovations? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.