Permira sells dental businesses for €255m

UK private equity firm Permira has sold portfolio companies demedis and Euro Dental Holding to American healthcare distributor Henry Schein for €255m.

Henry Schein, the Nasdaq-listed healthcare distributor, has acquired demedis and Euro Dental Holding (EDH) from the UK’s Permira for €255 million ($325 million).

The sale completes Permira’s exit from Sirona Group, formerly the dental arm of Germany’s Siemens, which it acquired for an undisclosed sum in 1997. The Sirona industrial division was sold to Nordic private equity firm EQT for €417.5m in November 2003 while demedis, the dental distribution division, was retained.

Demedis is a full-service distributor of dental consumables and equipment in Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries. EDH, which was acquired by Permira in 2000, comprises two businesses: KRUGG, a distributor of dental consumable products in Italy, which is Europe’s second-largest dental market; and DentalMV, a direct marketing distributor of dental consumable products based in Germany.

Combined, demedis and EDH recorded net sales of approximately €400 million in the fiscal year ended September 30 2003. They sell dental equipment, consumables and a range of related services primarily to dentists as well as dental laboratories and hospitals. The two companies together have about 1,350 employees.

“The demedis and EDH acquisitions will complement our earlier acquisition of Hager Dental, a regional German full-service dental distributor, and will further Henry’s Schein’s expansion as a leading full-service dental distributor across all of Germany, Italy, the Benelux and Austria,” said Stanley Bergman, chief executive officer and president of Henry Schein.

In a statement, Henry Schein said it would retain the firms’ existing management teams including Norbert Orth, who has been chief executive officer of demedis since 2000. As well as having responsibility for demedis and EDH going forward, he will assume responsibility for existing Henry Schein operations in Germany and Austria as well as Eastern Europe.

Henry Schein is the largest distributor of healthcare products and services to office-based practitioners in the North American and European markets. The company’s four business groups – dental, medical, international and technology – serve more than 400,000 customers worldwide including dental practices and laboratories, physician practices, veterinary clinics, governments and other institutions. It posted sales of $3.1 billion in the year ended September 27 2003.

In October 2003, Permira announced the final closing of its third pan-European fund, Permira Europe III, with commitments of over €5 billion.