Nuheara tunes into US market with new CEO, dual-listing strategy

09/05/2022 - 15:18

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Nuheara tunes into US market with new CEO, dual-listing strategy
Justin Miller

Perth-based audio technology company has flagged a strategic shift with the appointment of a US-based CEO and possible dual listing, most likely on the Nasdaq.

Founding CEO Justin Miller will step down to a new role as managing director, handing over the reins of the business to John Luna, who joined Nuheara a year ago as chief revenue officer and president.

Nuheara also announced the appointment of Californian investment bank Roth Capital Partners to explore the potential for a US listing.

Mr Miller told Business News that the US-centric moves reflected both the dominance of that market when it came to its current sales, as well the potential for significant hearing aid market deregulation there.

Late last year, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a long-awaited proposal to establish a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids allowing direct sale to consumers without a medical examination or a fitting by an audiologist.

With Nuheara is poised to be an early mover as the hearing aid market opened up, Mr Miller said it made sense to look at using US markets to fund an accelerated rollout.

He said that reaching milestones in distribution, such as with retail giant Best Buy, and key regulatory approvals were not well understood by the Australian market whereas they had been noticed by the US investment community.

“No-one here is listening that closely but the US investment banks are,” Mr Miller said.

Nuheara shares on the ASX have languished below 2 cents each after trading around 5 cents less than a year ago, accoutning for a share consolidation.

“That is one of the reasons we are seeking a dual-listing in the US,” he said.

“Everything is lined up there.”

Using technology originally developed at Curtin University and commercialised through industrial noise protection company Sensear, Perth-based Nuheara was an early entrant in the wireless ear bud market. Its products filter background noise to aid hearing and adjust to the user’s own hearing effectiveness via its own software.

Nuheara listed on the ASX in 2015 through a reverse takeover of Wild Acre Metals.

Mr Luna has experience in the medical device and hearing aid industry and has run or been a senior executive in several US businesses in the sector.

Mr Miller said that due to Covid, he and Mr Luna had not met face-to-face in the year that they had worked together, but they had spoken every working day.

“I have woken up to his voice every morning,” he said.

As managing director, Mr Miller said he would continue to manage the corporate regulatory side of the business linked to the ASX as well as strategic relationships with original equipment manufacturers.

"It was the appropriate time," Mr Miller said.

"Everything we do is US centric at the moment."

 

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