Reports: AZ close to selling dental unit to Dentsply

A number of sources are reporting this morning that AstraZeneca is close to an agreement for selling its dental implant and medical device unit Astra Tech to Dentsply International for approximately $1.8 billion, said a person close to the deal. However, no deal has been reached and the talks may still fall apart, Bloomberg quotes the source as saying.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Abigail Baron declined to comment on the sale in a phone interview with Bloomberg; however, an announcement is expected soon, she added.

Over the weekend, AstraZeneca CEO David Brennan (photo) told Reuters that attempts to sell the unit were ongoing. "We've been working through a process. We had bidders come in. People want to do due shouldn't drag on forever," he said.

AstraZeneca began the £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) auction of Astra Tech in April. And the bidding attracted a lot of interest from companies such as Zimmer and Dentsply and private equity firms Bridgepoint, Cinven of Britain and France's PAI Partners. Parties were allowed to bid for either Astra Tech's dental implant business, the medical devices arm, or the business as a whole. Second round bids were due June 6, and AstraZeneca said it has worked with JP Morgan to review "strategic options" for the unit.

- see the Reuters report
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