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.