Sirona sells in tertiary buyout

EQT is poised for another realisation on the back of sales of FlexLink and Dometic. The EQT III fund is selling dental equipment company Sirona to Madison Dearborn Partners in a tertiary buyout valued at about €800m.

The result is a good one for EQT, which bought Sirona from Permira for just over €400m in 2003. Under its ownership, sales and Ebitda increased by 13% and 16%, respectively, in financial year 2003–04. Sales were approximately €320m, generating Ebitda of €71m.

Operational highlights saw the company increase global market penetration for its CEREC and inLab systems. Sirona also continued to develop new products, including a new generation of digital X-ray systems. The company currently has more than 1,600 employees, with activities in 15 countries.

“Having implemented our European business plan, we believe it is now time for an owner with a focus on the US market to further develop and implement Sirona’s global strategy as well as to increase its market share in the US market, the largest dental market in the world,” said Bjorn Hoi Jensen, a partner at EQT.

UBS acted as financial adviser and Lovells as legal adviser to EQT and management. JP Morgan advised and is providing financing to Madison Dearborn Partners.

EQT has been at the centre of a number of exits and investment bids recently. The firm is working with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners in a US$3.9bn bid for Danish cleaning services company ISS, which would rank as the largest buyout in the Nordic region.

It sold refrigeration company Dometic in April to BC Partners. Dometic made some major acquisitions before it was sold, including expansion in the marine area through purchases of SeaLand and TaylorMade Environmental.

Another recent exit for EQT was the €153m sale of Swedish industrial equipment supplier FlexLink to ABN AMRO Capital.