Dentsply to buy dental implants and medical devices firm Astra Tech for $1.8 billion

Swedish denture company, Dentsply International Inc yesterday announced plans to buy Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca's dental implants and medical devices firm Astra Tech, for $1.8 billion in cash.

Dentsply outbid private-equity firm EQT Partners AB, Biomet Inc, that were bidding for the whole of Astra Tech, and Bridgepoint Capital Ltd, which bid for only the denture division.

AstraZeneca's CFO Simon Lowth had, in January, announced the company's decision to sell Astra Tech as it was not central to the company's strategy. It had also hired JPMorgan Chase & Co to look for potential buyers.
The London-based company was looking at a $2 billion price tag for Astra Tech.

Straumann and Nobel Biocare, the world No 1 and No2 dental implants makers had pulled out of the bidding process before tabling binding bids, Reuters had reported earlier this month.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in the second half of this year, is likely to increase Dentsply's revenue by about 25 per cent.

With a presence in more than 120 countries and 2010 revenues of $2.2 billion, York, Pennsylvania-based Dentsply designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of professional dental products, including dental implants, endodontic instruments and materials, orthodontic appliances, restorative materials, preventive materials and devices, and prosthetic materials and devices.
 
Moelndal, Sweden-based Astra Tech, which last year posted revenues of $535 million, is the world's third-largest dental implants maker. Its separate medical devices arm specialises in urology and surgery.

Dentsply said it plans to finance the purchase with cash on hand, commercial paper and long-term debt. The company had $575 million in cash against $664 million of long-term debt as of March 2011.

"The combination more than doubles our position in dental implants while expanding the breadth of our portfolio in this growing segment of dentistry. The urology and surgery business and management team provide us with additional growth opportunities within the broader medical devices category with a strong market position and an exciting pipeline of new products," said Bret Wise, Dentsply's chairman and CEO.