Hearing aid makers Widex and Sivantos delay EU merger application

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish hearing aid maker Widex and German rival have withdrawn an application for the European Commission to approve their planned $8 billion merger, public records show, but Sivantos owner EQT said they remain committed to the deal.

“EQT and Widex expect to proceed to a new notification of their project to the European Commission in due course and remain fully committed to closing the transaction once all regulatory clearances have been obtained,” a spokesman for buyout group EQT said.

The companies expect to close the deal in the first half of 2019, he added.

“We have not ended the project and we are still fully committed to closing the transaction when we have gotten all the necessary approvals,” Andrew Arnold, a press officer for unlisted Widex, told Danish online media Medwatch on Tuesday.

The planned merger is aiming at creating an industry number three that would be able to invest more in digital devices and step up the challenge to market leaders Sonova SOON.S and William Demant WDH.CO.

The European Commission’s home page shows the application for the merger, which was announced in May, was withdrawn on Oct. 30.

Sivantos is owned by Swedish private equity firm EQT.

Reporting by Teis Jensen and Emil Gjerding Nielson; Editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter