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31 Jul 2017 | Australasian Dental Practice

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Straumann buys ClearCorrect and 100% of Dental Wings, acquires stakes in Geniova and Rapid Shape

The Straumann Group has acquired ClearCorrect, a well-established provider of clear-aligner tooth-correction solutions. Straumann has also acquired a 38% stake in Geniova, a small entrepreneurial company in Spain, which has pioneered an innovative hybrid approach combining the advantages of clear-aligner systems with the benefits of conventional brackets.

Digital technology is at the core of both these businesses and is changing dentistry in general. To accelerate the development of digital platforms and equipment to support and link orthodontic, restorative and replacement dentistry, Straumann is also increasing its stake in Dental Wings Inc. from 55% to full ownership.

The transactions are expected to be completed by year-end.

The Group also announced today that its deal to acquire a 35% stake in Rapid Shape GmbH, Germany has been completed. The latter is a leader in 3D-printing technologies and the Straumann-branded 3D-printers, which have been integrated into the CARES and Dental Wings workflows, are now entering limited market release.

Straumann is creating a global Digital Business Unit to bring these and its existing digital activities together and to accelerate their global expansion.

Marco Gadola, CEO of Straumann, explained the rationale and timing of the deals: "Having come close to our goal of becoming a total solution provider in tooth replacement, we began looking into attractive complementary fields to see if we could create opportunities for further growth and synergies. Orthodontic treatments are often combined with implant procedures and we see many commonalities on the digital side - for example in scanning (intra- and extra-oral), designing (CAD) and 3D printing/additive manufacturing.

"Furthermore, customer groups are very similar as a growing number of general practices offer implants and clear-aligner solutions. ClearCorrect provides us with the technology, expertise and a strong footing in this field, while Geniova gives us access to an innovative treatment approach. In return, we offer a global distribution and marketing network, in addition to brand leverage, regional production locations and the power of Dental Wings in digital technology.

"Our union with ClearCorrect and Dental Wings, our investments in Geniova and Rapid Shape, as well as our partnership with 3Shape all fit together and enable us to capture the exciting opportunities that the clear-aligner market offers. I am delighted that ClearCorrect's entrepreneurial leadership team will stay with the company and partner with us in supporting customer and patient needs and in growing their business."

Aesthetic dentistry - a highly attractive field for Straumann

It is estimated that 75% of the teenage and adult population have misaligned teeth and require orthodontic treatment. The introduction of clear-aligner solutions as an alternative to conventional braces and brackets represented a milestone in addressing this need. Growing awareness, broader availability (e.g. through general dentists) and the increased importance of dental esthetics are key growth drivers for the global clear-aligner market, which is estimated to be worth close to CHF 1.5 billion and growing at a low double-digit-percentage rate. Of the three million orthodontic cases treated in the North America last year, approximately a quarter received clear-aligner solutions. The penetration rate is lower in other countries, where the clear-aligner market is still emerging. This, combined with Straumann's ability to leverage its global organization, offer incremental growth opportunities for both the Group and its partners.

New organization to drive digital activities

Digital technology and workflows are increasingly prominent in all areas of modern dentistry including the aligner and tooth replacement businesses, as dentists and labs adopt technologies like computer-guided surgery, intraoral scanning, CADCAM restorations and 3D printing, which are digitally interconnected.

This underlines the importance of Dental Wings as a leading developer and provider of digital dentistry technologies. It also explains why the Straumann Group has built partnerships with other leading companies in the field including Rapid Shape (3D printing), 3Shape (scanning), and Amann Girrbach (in-lab and chairside mills). To bring them and the Group's other digital activities closer together and to drive their global expansion, Straumann is creating a global Digital Business Unit under the leadership of Mike Rynerson, who rejoins the Group as a member of the Executive Management Board.

Mr Rynerson has been CEO of Dental Wings for almost four years, during which time the company has almost tripled its revenue and profit. Previously, he spent five years at Straumann in Project Management, Business Development & Licensing, Intraoral Scanning Distribution, and finally as Head of Straumann's 'Dental Service Group' and Executive Liaison to Dental Wings.



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