The shares of the hearing aid manufacturer have more than doubled since the beginning of 2017, driven by the demand of an aging population, which has helped its largest shareholder multi-millionaire. The president of Amplifon, Susan Carol Holland, holds 44.9% of the company in Milan through the family control company, which accounts for most of its assets of US $ 2,300 million.
The United Nations organization is projecting to double the world population of people aged over 60 or more by the middle of the century to 2.1 billion, and it is expected that the market for hearing aids will grow by almost 6% annually by 2022. Technavio research agency.
A spokeswoman for Amplifon said that Holland, 62, was not available for comment.
His fortune is based on the work of his father Charles, a veteran of the army and special forces of Great Britain who parachuted in northern Italy in 1944 to secretly cooperate with rebel groups as part of a guerrilla war against the occupation of the Nazi troops, according to the death penalty of March 2001 in the La Repubblica newspaper in Rome. In 2016 Amplifon created a prize on his behalf to acknowledge his excellent courage.
It started with Amplifon after the Second World War and the company benefited from the invention of the transistor, which helped to make smaller hearing instruments with greater commercial appeal. Currently it is the largest retailer of hearing instruments in the world, with 10% of the market and stores in more than 20 countries.
Susan Holland joined Amplifon in 1983 after working as a speech therapist, and has been president since 2011 when she took over her Italian mother, Anna Maria, who oversaw the first public offer ten years earlier.
But the Netherlands is not the only billionaire that has recently emerged from the industry. William Austin, 76, founder of Starkey Hearing Technologies, became a billionaire in 2014. The company in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has five presidents, two popes and Dolly Parton among its customers.
Hans-Ueli Rihs is now 5.7% of Sonova Holding AG, the largest supplier of hearing products in terms of turnover. The shares of the company in Staefa, Switzerland, rose to a record last month and, according to the Bloomberg index, account for more than half of the net assets of US $ 1,100 million.