Nobel Biocare rises on buyout talks

Switzerland's Nobel Biocare rose the most in more than two years after reports emerged saying EQT Partners AB and Bain Capital are eyeing the dental-implant maker.

EQT, a Swedish private equity company, has been looking at Nobel Biocare as a takeover target "for some time," NZZ am Sonntag reported, citing two unnamed sources. Bain has been mulling a potential acquisition of Nobel Biocare for "several months," the paper added. A spokeswoman for Nobel Biocare told Bloomberg her company has yet to be approached by potential buyers.

Nobel Biocare has faced a number of challenges this year, especially with the dip in the dental implant market. Patients are deferring on getting dental-implant surgeries, largely due to their expense. The market is expected to grow only about 3% this year, down markedly from the double-digit gains of a few years back, as Dow Jones notes.

"If you focus only on the valuation side, Nobel is a cheap target," Oliver Metzger, an analyst with Commerzbank AG, told Bloomberg. "From a fundamental standpoint, I haven't seen many improvements so it needs some time."

Nobel Biocare isn't the only dental-solutions company to inspire buyout talks this year. Over the summer, Dentsply emerged as the winner in the bid to buy AstraZeneca's ($AZN) Astra Tech unit. Nobel Biocare was initially interested, but later dropped out of the bidding, according to reports.

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