Friday 29 May 2015

RARE ALERT: Sonova Holding AG said to be working with M&A bankers to examine 'strategic options'; could lead to sale

In case you hadn't noticed, there is a pharmaceutical/healthcare dealmaking frenzy at the moment.

And the latest tale doing the rounds is about a Swiss hearing aid manufacturer Sonova, whose market capitalisation currently stands at CHF 10 billion (circa £7 billion).

According to my people with the info, Sonova has started working M&A bankers JP Morgan on a 'strategic review', which may lead to a sale of the company.

Now, at this stage it's not clear who will buy the company as we are still at the early part of the process. Word is, though, the Sonova board is unlikely to accept any offer lower than 180 a share.

To be clear, this information is RARE verging on BLEU.

For readers unfamiliar with the RARE, here is the definition:

Market gossip that hasn't been tested through all formal journalistic channels (public relations executives, bankers etc). The rumour might be total codswallop but then again there may be something in it, so it's worth airing on Betaville.

However, I have asked well-placed industry sources about the story and come up with something that would seem to vaguely corroborate the gossip.

Whilst none of these industry sources had heard about JP Morgan's appointment - in fact, Deutsche Bank was mentioned as the company's main relationship adviser - I have been told Sonova recently held a 'beauty parade' (a process when a company asks several banks to pitch for a mandate) for a new M&A adviser to work on a project.    

I asked Sonova Holding AG for a comment. The company politely declined to comment.


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