Straumann CEO says could spend up to 400 mln Sfr on buys

ZURICH Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:34am EDT

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ZURICH Aug 20 (Reuters) - Straumann is on the look out for acquisitions of makers of cheaper dental implants and could spend up to 400 million Swiss francs ($432.5 million) on deals, its Chief Executive said in an interview on Tuesday.

"We are, as we speak, actively screening the different markets from a geographic point of view where the value segment has and will have significant importance, and we are looking at potentially acquiring companies in that segment," Gadola told Reuters in an interview.

"We have firepower of around 350 - 400 million Swiss francs. That doesn't mean that we want to spend everything," he said.

Straumann and fellow premium implant maker Nobel Biocare have faced increasing competition from a growing number of makers of cheaper implants, which have chipped away at their market share.

Last year, Straumann bought a 49 percent stake in Brazil's Neodent to tap into the low-cost market which is developing faster than the premium segment. ($1 = 0.9250 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Caroline Copley)