IM this article to a friend!

April 26, 2005

Ear implant maker Cochlear Ltd. pays $152 million for Swedish firm

From: Rocky Mountain News - Denver,CO,USA - Apr 26, 2005

By Rachel Brand, Rocky Mountain News
April 26, 2005

Bionic ear implant company Cochlear Ltd., an Australian firm with U.S. headquarters in Denver, bought Swedish hearing implant firm Entific Medical Systems for $152 million. The deal closed last month.

Entific makes and markets an implanted bone-conduction hearing device for middle-ear defects that lead to deafness.

Entific, with 2004 revenues of $31.7 million and net income of $5.5 million, is the world market leader for these implants. The U.S. has become its biggest market since the product received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2002.

Sydney-based Cochlear, with revenues of $223 million and net profit of $28.6 million in the 2004 fiscal year, markets a bionic ear implant for total hearing loss. Since the company was founded more than 20 years ago, about 60,000 people have received its cochlear implant.

Cochlear and Entific devices treat different types of deafness and aren't used together. The acquisition allows Cochlear to diversify its customer base.

"The acquisition of an implantable-hearing-device company strategically expands Cochlear's reach in treating people with a significant hearing loss and where a traditional hearing aid just doesn't work," said Cochlear CEO Dr. Chris Roberts.

Cochlear's Denver office, with about 110 employees, is responsible for the sales, service, marketing and distribution operations in North, South and Central America.

An Entific spokeswoman said some of 30 staff members at Entific's U.S. headquarters may move to Denver from Columbus, Ohio. or 303-892-5269

Copyright 2005, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.