TA Associates invests in Amann Girrbach AG

Growth private equity firm TA Associates has invested in dental specialist Amann Girrbach AG, buying out the stake of Alpine Equity. The current owners of Amann Girrbach will also sell a portion of their stake. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.


TA Associates, a leading growth private equity firm, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to invest in dental specialist Amann Girrbach AG, a developer, manufacturer and marketer of equipment and consumables for dental reconstruction. Alpine Equity, formerly Hypo Equity, will sell its stake in Amann Girrbach in this transaction. Additionally, current owners of Amann Girrbach will sell a portion of their stake. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Amann Girrbach, with approximately 220 employees, develops precision systems and consumables for dental laboratories and exports them to over 70 countries. The company has developed significantly in recent years, and is having a major impact on the dental market through the introduction of the “Ceramill Digital” CAD/CAM technology. Research and manufacturing facilities are located in Koblach, Austria, with sales and distribution based in Pforzheim, Germany. The company opened its U.S. facility in 2005 in Spring Hill, Florida.

Oliver Amann and Jutta Girrbach will continue representing the founding families on the Board of Directors. Marco Ratz, previously Head of Sales and Marketing at Amann Girrbach and the new CEO of the company, has succeeded Rudolf Schwarzinger as a member of the Board.

“We are pleased to welcome TA Associates as an investor in Amann Girrbach,” said Mr. Ratz. “TA’s investment will provide additional opportunities to break ground in digital dentistry and maximize our potential for continued growth. Through research and development, and global expansion, we will be able to maintain our leading role in the dental industry.”

“We welcome this partnership with Amann Girrbach,” said Birker B. Bahnsen, a Vice President at TA Associates who will join the company’s Board of Directors. “Amann Girrbach has had many years of success, and there is significant potential for further growth through international expansion and the development of new digital products. We look forward to working closely with the management team.”

The CAD/CAM market has the potential to grow 15 to 20 percent per year, compared to the conventional dental market that is growing at seven percent annually. Projections are for considerably higher expenditures for health and cosmetic dental prostheses, as well as growing demand in implantology. An increasing number of dental laboratories are converting to the new technology, which offers substantial cost benefits due to lower labor costs.

“Amann Girrbach has been a true pioneer, developing one of the most economically efficient systems on the market,” said Jonathan W. Meeks, a Managing Director at TA Associates who will also join the company’s Board of Directors. “The company will benefit greatly from its CAD/CAM products given that use of these applications is expected to double in the next five to ten years.”

Since they joined Amann in 2003, Alpine Equity, headquartered in Bregenz, Austria, has been steering this medium-sized enterprise’s successful strategy of international expansion. Substantial investment was made in product innovation and the extension of a global sales and marketing system in order to expand Amann Dental, which merged in 2004 with German company, Girrbach Dental. The majority of products are made in-house and distributed throughout the world by a fully developed direct selling department and 80 retailers. Since Alpine Equity joined in 2003, the dental company has been able to increase turnover significantly from €7.2 million to approximately €46 million.

“We have been looking for a globally experienced and financially sound investor to take Amann Girrbach forward to the next stage with the aim of becoming a global name,” said Omer Rehman, Executive Board Member, Alpine Equity. “We are pleased TA Associates will be partnering with Amann Girrbach.”

TA Associates has more than four decades of investing experience, focusing on profitable growth companies. TA’s prior investments in the healthcare sector include Alere Medical, AmeriChoice, CompBenefits, Dr Lal PathLabs, Invitrogen, MQ Associates, National Imaging Associates, Triumph HealthCare and Twin Med.

About Amann Girrbach

Amann Girrbach is one of the leading companies in precision instruments and CAD/CAM solutions for dental laboratories throughout the world. In addition to sites in Koblach, Austria and Pforzheim, Germany, the company has had a U.S. subsidiary since 2005. Amann Girrbach was formed in 2004 as a result of the merger of the two family-owned companies of Amann Dental GmbH, with headquarters in Koblach, and Pforzheim’s Girrbach Dental GmbH (D). For further information on Amann Girrbach, visit www.amanngirrbach.com.

About TA Associates

Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced middle market private equity firms. The firm has invested in over 400 companies and manages more than $16 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, London, Menlo Park and Mumbai, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the technology, financial services, business services, healthcare and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

About Alpine Equity

Since 1999, Alpine Equity Management AG (formerly Hypo Equity), with headquarters in Bregenz, Austria, has been geared towards equity and investment financing of medium-sized enterprises in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Investment is focused on high-growth enterprises as well as buyout transactions and selected turnaround projects. With assets under management of around Euro 100 million and 20 investment management companies, Alpine Equity is one of Austria’s leading private equity companies. For further information on Alpine Equity, visit www.alpineequity.at.