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Astra Tech Acquires Innovative Dental Digital Technology Company

Comprehensive solutions offered for all implant needs.

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Astra Tech AB the leading Swedish medical technology company, a subsidiary of AstraZeneca, today announced it is acquiring the innovative US dental company Atlantis Components Inc. for USD 71 million in cash. This acquisition will further enhance Astra Tech's ability to provide comprehensive solutions including digital dentistry needs.

"The acquisition of Atlantis is a strategic addition to the current line of Astra Tech offerings that will increase the company's client base and give us an even stronger product portfolio in the field of dental implants. We are committed to strengthening our position in North America and in addition, we will now be able to introduce the latest digital CAD/CAM(1) technology in Europe," says President and CEO of Astra Tech Group, Peter Selley.

In the past few years, Astra Tech has grown at a rate of over 40 percent a year while the global market for dental implants is showing an average of 18- 20 percent growth. Growing demand for attractive functional tooth replacements has meant that the U.S. market for dental implants is approaching $700 million and is estimated to grow close to 20 percent each year for the coming years and reach an estimated $1.2 billion in 2011. More than 1,500,000 dental implants were placed in the U.S. last year.

"Our objective is to be one of the three largest dental implant companies within the next three years," Peter Selley continues. For the past ten years, Atlantis Components Inc. has developed a patented method for digitally producing "abutments." An abutment is the part that is connected to the implant, on which the artificial crown is placed. Using the latest CAD/CAM(1) technology, individually adapted abutments are produced for each patient. As opposed to standard abutments, Atlantis' technology is built around a unique method that is based on the appearance of the completed tooth. The end result is more attractive and extremely reliable. For the patient it means fewer trips to the dentist since the abutment always fits perfectly without the dentist having to make adjustments. Atlantis' method makes it possible to fabricate individual abutments for most of the major implant systems on the market. For dental laboratories, this makes their work more efficient and profitable.

Atlantis Components Inc. is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has 100 employees. The company has had very positive growth in recent years and now has a market-leading position in its segment.

(1) CAD=Computer-Aided Design CAM=Computer-Aided Manufacturing

"Astra Tech with its focus on research and its global sales organization is the perfect owner for Atlantis as it offers the ideal environment within which to further develop Atlantis' unique technology as well as grow the business," says Bob Stockard, CEO, Atlantis.

Operations will be integrated with Astra Tech's North American subsidiary headquartered in Waltham, MA. The North American market represents approximately one third of the world market and is Astra Tech's most important one. It is currently one of the fastest growing markets for the Astra Tech Group.

"The two companies complement each other perfectly. Through the acquisition of Atlantis, we can offer all dentists working with implants an optimal solution, in terms of both esthetics and function," says Scott Root, President and CEO, Astra Tech Inc., North America.

"We will develop a Center of Excellence in the US for esthetics, based on Atlantis' unique know-how and technology in order to offer advanced digital dentistry solutions," says Peter Selley.

In 2008, Astra Tech will begin producing Atlantis' CAD/CAM abutments for the European market at its headquarters in Molndal, Sweden. The launch and sales in Europe will be handled by Astra Tech's existing sales organization.

As recently as June of this year, Astra Tech opened a new center for training and education at its headquarters in Molndal. Dentists from all over the world are invited there to study the latest implant technology.

Astra Tech, a subsidiary of the AstraZeneca Group, develops, manufactures, and markets dental implants and advanced disposable medical equipment for the healthcare sector. The company develops products that lead to improved treatment results and simplified work for healthcare and dental professionals.

Astra Tech's headquarters and production facilities are located in Molndal, Sweden. The company is represented globally by 16 subsidiaries and selected local partners. Astra Tech has a total of 1,900 employees worldwide. The company puts 5 percent of its revenues annually into research. Astra Tech's revenues in 2006 totaled SEK 2.7 billion. Astra Tech's North American subsidiary is headquartered out of Waltham, MA, and urology operations are centered in Torrance, CA. Since 2004, the North American subsidiary has grown from 60 to over 200 employees.

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