The owners of Kaltenbach & Voigt GmbH & Co. KG (KaVo), a group of 17 individuals from the Kaltenbach, Hoffmeister and Wiemers families, and Danaher Corporation (Danaher) signed a definitive agreement whereby Danaher will acquire all of the shares of KaVo. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. All the participants, however, believe the transactions will be completed within the next two to three months.
KaVo, headquartered in Biberach/Riss, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of dental equipment for dental practices and dental laboratories, with annual sales revenues of 370 million euros in 2003 and about 3,300 employees. The company's product portfolio ranges from extremely precise dental instruments to the fitting out of entire dental practices. It is comprised of four divisions: instruments, complete dental equipments, dental systems and laboratory. KaVo has German production facilities in Biberach, Warthausen and Leutkirch, and also production facilities in Italy, Brazil and North America. Furthermore, the company is represented in 21 countries through its own sales and service companies, and in other countries through exclusive dealer relationships.
The buyer, Danaher, a New York Stock Exchange listed company (NYSE:DHR) has its headquarters in Washington D.C./USA. The company had 2003 sales revenues of over $5 billion per annum and has six strategic platforms: Electronic Test, Environmental, Motion, Product Identification, Mechanics Hand Tools and Medical Technology. The company is also engaged in a number of niche markets. Danaher has approximately 30,000 employees, with about 17,000 of these in the USA.
Within the Medical Technology platform Danaher wants to strengthen and develop its dental business portfolio. KaVo, which is well established in the dental market, will play a strategic role for this business in the future: KaVo with its headquarters in Biberach will form the main pillar of the Dental business along with Gendex, a leader in dental X-ray equipment, previously acquired by Danaher in February 2004.
The current KaVo-management will secure the continuity of all business processes and in particular the customer relationships also in the future.
Dr. Martin Rickert, CEO of Kaltenbach & Voigt GmbH & Co. KG, sees advantages in the acquisition by Danaher: "KaVo will benefit from the relationship with Danaher helping us to expand our offering for dentists and dental technicians by developing and expanding the Dental business into new segments of the dental market. Our customers will benefit from this expansion of our product portfolio.
H. Lawrence Culp Jr., President and CEO of Danaher, also sees the successful completion of the agreement as the key to major development potential: "With KaVo we are acquiring one of the best-known brands in the dental sector with an excellent reputation worldwide. The addition of KaVo further expands our position in this attractive market".
KaVo has been growing continuously in the last few years in its core markets and has the potential to expand this position as a premium brand in the dental market. However the challenges, particularly with regard to advancing globalization, are increasing. And to maintain a leading role in the worlds markets, the further development of the product portfolio on the one hand and an increased presence in the markets in which KaVo has not been fully represented on the other hand, is mandatory. This can be facilitated with the help of a strategic investor like Danaher.