Nobel Buys Alpha Bio: What is the Motivation?

Last Updated February 11, 2008
Reviewed By:  OsseoNews Team

Last month, Warburg Pincus snapped up Lifecore Biomedical for $239 million, and this month Nobel Biocare announced the acquisition of Alpha Bio for $95 million. The question is: Who’s next in the new Implant Mergers & Acquisitions saga? More importantly, what is driving this acquisition spree?

Private Equity firm Warburg Pincus, seemingly bought Lifecore to merge it into Keystone Dental, another Warburg creation, thereby providing Keystone with a much needed dental implant product line, a large revenue stream, and an existing customer base.

But what was the motivation behind Nobel’s purchase of Alpha Bio, as the company apparently was not generating enough revenue to justify a $95 million valuation.

According to Haaretz: “This isn’t a tech stock with army geniuses backed by angels. Alpha Bio Implant was a one-man show: Dr. Ophir Fromovich, CEO, owner and dentist to the stars, not that he’ll say who his clients are…Fromovich founded Alpha Bio Implant in 1988…The breakthrough came only in 2003, after another dentist, Nitzan Bichacho, contacted him about making advanced implants. The development team added dentists Ben Karmon and Yuval Jacoby, and together the four created a new type of implant…”

Given the above description of a seeming start-up operation, was the purchase of Alpha Bio mainly a defensive move on the part of Nobel, in an attempt to lock up some new type of technology or fend off a patent lawsuit on related Nobel technology?

What are your thoughts? Will these acquisitions lead to improved implant technology that helps both practitioners and patients?


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