Siemens in talks to sell hearing aids biz for $2.6B+

On the heels of Siemens' sale of its healthcare IT and microbiology units, the company is eyeing a sale of its hearing aid unit to private equity firm EQT Partners AB for more than $2.6 billion.

An IPO of the hearing aid business was thought to be in the cards, but is now less likely due to declining equity markets worldwide--the blue chip stock index DAX is down more than 5% this year in Siemens' home of Germany.

According to Bloomberg, private equity firm Permira Advisers LLP and Denmark's GN Store Nord A/S, a hearing aids maker, are also interested in the Siemens business, although a deal with EQT could be agreed on within weeks.

The Siemens Audiology Solutions website indicates that the unit sells 17 models of hearing aids, including those inserted inside the ear and others worn behind the ear. It also makes related wireless accessories and the SecureEar hearing protection device.

With the recent acquisition of two energy businesses for a combined $8.9 billion, the conglomerate appears to be setting its sights elsewhere as it aims to improve profitability. And in May the company announced that it's managing its entire healthcare business as a standalone entity, leading to the inevitable speculation that the whole thing will be sold off.

Meanwhile, in September EQT lost out to Danaher ($DHR) on the sale of Nobel Biocare ($NOBN), a maker of dental implants.

Siemens healthcare unit had revenues of €3.17 million ($4.04 million) in Q3 2014. It is best known for medical imaging devices.

- read the Bloomberg article

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