Sennheiser has sold its consumer electronics division to hearing aid specialists Sonova for a reported $241 million.
As part of the deal – described by Sennheiser as a “cooperation” – Sonova will take over the development and production departments of Sennheiser’s consumer audio business. Sonova will likely add headphones and soundbars to its portfolio of existing products, which currently includes hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing care products.
“Our consumer electronics products delight with the best sound and a unique sound experience,” Sennheiser co-CEOs Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser said in a joint statement. “Sonova will build on this and combine it with its own technology expertise and strengths in the field of innovative hearing solutions.”
With this partnership, Sonova is also hoping to reach young consumers who may already be using Sennheiser products, reports Reuters. “Even if they don’t have hearing loss, most of them will gradually get hearing loss with age, and devices like Sennheiser’s allow us to have earlier consumer access to such people,” Sonova Chief Executive Arnd Kaldowski told the wire.
The partnership may potentially lead to interesting developments with in consumer wearables. “Both partners see great potential in particular in the market for speech-enhanced hearables and for true wireless and audiophile headphones,” Sennheiser said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Sennheiser will now devote its focus entirely to pro audio, business communications and the Neumann brand.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of this year, and will see about 600 Sennheiser employees transferred.
Sennheiser has been open about its intentions to sell its consumer audio business, announcing back in February it was seeking a buyer.
Sonova, based in Stäfa, Switzerland, operates through its brands Phonak, Unitron, Hansaton, Advanced Bionics and brands of the Audiological Care business such as AudioNova, Geers, Boots Hearing Care, Connect Hearing and Lapperre.