Danaher to buy Nobel Biocare for $2.2 billion

Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:25am EDT
 
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By Caroline Copley

ZURICH (Reuters) - U.S. healthcare group Danaher Corp DHR.N is to buy Nobel Biocare Holding AG NOBN.S for an agreed $2.2 billion to become the world's biggest player in a dental implants market benefiting from growing demand for cosmetic dentistry.

Danaher said on Monday it would pay 17.10 Swiss francs per Nobel Biocare share in cash, about 23 percent above Nobel Biocare's closing price on July 28, the day before the Swiss firm said it was in talks with potential buyers.

However, Nobel Biocare shares fell as much as 6 percent after analysts had predicted the company could fetch over 20 francs per share.

"From my side, it doesn’t fill me with that much enthusiasm. But I don’t expect there will be a second bid," Sebastien Buch, a portfolio manager at Union Investment which owns roughly 3 percent of Nobel Biocare’s shares, told Reuters.

Danaher is a leading provider of dental equipment, but only a small player in the fragmented dental implants market after its acquisition of low-cost manufacturer Implant Direct.

The purchase of Nobel Biocare, the world's No.2 dental implants maker, will bring Danaher a premium range of implants and boost its dental business to sales of around $3 billion.

Vontobel analysts forecast the global dental implants market is set to double to $6 billion by 2025, helped by recovering Western economies and rising incomes in developing countries.

Danaher President and Chief Executive Thomas P. Joyce told a conference call that Nobel Biocare's recent investment in high-growth markets such as China, eastern Europe and Latin America - which now make up about 20 percent of sales - had made it an attractive opportunity.   Continued...

 
The logo of Swiss medical device maker Nobel Biocare is pictured at the company's headquarters in Zurich May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer