5. Dentsply Sirona latches onto Byte

Brushing teeth toothbrush oral health dentist
Dentsply Sirona plans to use the deal to scale up its own clear aligner business by capitalizing on Byte’s network of dentists and providers. (Getty/CentralITAlliance)

Deal value: $1.0 billion
Announced: January 4, 2021
Closed: December 31, 2020

Dental device manufacturer Dentsply Sirona’s $1.04 billion cash deal for Byte, maker of invisible, direct-to-consumer teeth aligners, came in just under the wire for our 2020 list with a December 31 closing date.

Dentsply Sirona plans to use the deal to scale up its own clear aligner business by capitalizing on Byte’s network of dentists and providers, designed to help direct home-delivered care for people with mild to moderate orthodontic needs. 

At the same time, Byte will benefit from Dentsply Sirona’s commercial resources and R&D capabilities, said CEO Neeraj Gunsagar, who will continue to operate the business alongside Byte’s existing management.

Byte predicts it will rake in $200 million in sales from its products alone by the end of this year, while Dentsply Sirona’s clear aligners are expected to net another $100 million.

The deal also comes after Dentsply Sirona announced last August that it would exit the traditional orthodontics space—including the sale of brackets, bands, tubes and wires, which brought in $132 million in 2019—while ramping up its clear aligner efforts.

RELATED: Sirona, Dentsply to merge in largest dental devices deal ever, worth $13.3B

The company’s broader restructuring efforts, first launched in late 2018, were accelerated by the spread of COVID-19. Dentsply Sirona’s net second-quarter sales dropped by more than half compared to the year before, from just over $1 billion down to about $491 million. Those sales began to recover during the third quarter as dentists' offices began to reopen—up to $895 million, but still down 7% compared to the same period in 2019.

Going forward, the two companies expect the market for clear aligners to increase 20% to 25% annually amid strong consumer demand for an orthodontic solution that is not only invisible, but also allows patients to skip a trip to the dentist’s office—an important benefit during a global pandemic.

5. Dentsply Sirona latches onto Byte