Sale of Oticon Medical to Cochlear: What Does It Mean?
I’m not going to pretend—this is a tough one, friends.
We recently hosted our annual National Sales Meeting in person for the first time since the pandemic began. It started off filled with excitement over the launch of our Ponto™ 5 SuperPower, anticipation for the launch of our cochlear implants later this year, and the simple joy of getting to interact live with our colleagues again. At the end of Day One, we all went home energized and looking forward to the rest of the meeting.
Then, on the beginning of day 2, I had to tell the team that Demant had decided to discontinue its Hearing Implants business area and reached an agreement to sell Oticon Medical to our biggest competitor, Cochlear™. You can click here to read the official announcement.
That morning is still a blur. Although much remains uncertain about how this process will unfold, one thing is clear—I can commit to you that ensuring the life-long care of Oticon Medical users is our primary focus.
I am still processing this like everyone else. But beyond those of us who work for Oticon Medical, I know the news is already affecting our valued customers and patients. My team has seen your expressions of shock, disappointment, anger, concern, sorrow—all reasonable and understandable emotions. I will attempt to ease your concerns to the best of my knowledge and ability.
A necessary caveat
One of the greatest challenges during the sale of a business, particularly when it and/or the purchaser is publicly traded, is the secrecy surrounding the process. Various business aspects must be negotiated and approved by not only the companies involved, but by stockholders, board members, and government agencies. It is a complex and often lengthy process during which scant information can be shared with the public at large or with most employees.
In the absence of facts, it is human nature to resort to speculation. We want to know, and so we seek clues and signs of where things might be headed and use those to weave our own narratives about the future. While natural and expected, it is an unhealthy practice for everyone involved, as unproven theories and guesswork may be expressed as factual during conversations or via social media.
With that in mind, here are the facts we know today.
What this acquisition means to customers and consumers
Most important of all, our launch of Ponto 5 SuperPower, the smallest, most powerful abutment-level sound processor available continues as usual! Enjoy the first-ever Ponto 5 feedback prevention system in a new, more powerful device.
As part of the transaction, Cochlear has committed to continue servicing existing patients of Oticon Medical now and in the future. This means you can feel comfortable continuing to recommend Oticon Medical products to your patients. In expressing his commitment to Oticon Medical’s customer base, Cochlear’s CEO and President, Dig Howitt, has stated, “…we will seek to ensure that Oticon Medical’s customers and patients continue to be supported with a lifetime of hearing solutions. We will work closely with Demant to ensure a seamless transition of the business to Cochlear to ensure continued access to current Oticon Medical technology for customers and patients in the coming years.” As the global leader in implantable solutions for hearing loss, Cochlear is well-equipped to provide excellent service and support to audiology professional customers and patients.
As for what this means for the future of Oticon Medical’s BAHS and CI technology, it has been publicly stated by Cochlear that it will “develop next-generation sound processors and services that will enable customers to transition to and benefit from Cochlear’s technology platform over time.”
The agreement is expected to be finalized in the second half of 2022. Until the ownership transfers to Cochlear, everyone here at Oticon Medical remains at your disposal and committed to providing the high level of service and support you’ve come to rely on from our company.
Those are all the facts for now. I hope your takeaway is that you can rest assured our team will continue to do our utmost to provide you with the service you need to enjoy better hearing with our Oticon Medical devices during this transitional phase. We thank you for having chosen our company for your hearing care business or personal needs, and for your dedication, passion, and support for our bone anchored and cochlear implant treatments. If you do have questions going forward, please contact your local Oticon Medical representative, or in the US reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.277.8014.