STOCKHOLM, Sweden, May 2, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- EQT III Limited ("EQT") together with Sirona management has signed an agreement with Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC to sell Sirona Group, a leading manufacturer of dental equipment for clinics and dental laboratories.

In 2003 EQT and Sirona management acquired the shares in Sirona Group from funds advised by Permira. Since the acquisition Sirona has successfully increased the global market penetration of CEREC and inLab, Sirona's unique CAD/CAM systems and continued to develop and launch a number of new products, including a new generation of digital X-ray systems. Furthermore Sirona has taken major steps towards becoming a global company by establishing subsidiaries in another five countries.

Today Sirona has more than 1,600 employees, with activities in 15 countries. In the financial year 2003/04 sales amounted to approximately EUR 320 million and EBITDA to EUR 71 million, corresponding to an increase of 13% and 16%, respectively, compared with the previous year.

Bjoern Hoei Jensen, partner at EQT Partners, comments: "Sirona's performance has surpassed our expectations, demonstrating its great growth potential. After having implemented our European business plan, we believe it is now time for an owner with a focus on the U.S. market to further develop and implement Sirona's global strategy as well as to increase its market share in the U.S. market, the largest dental market in the world."

Jost Fischer, CEO of Sirona, comments: "After Sirona's strong development during EQT's time as an owner, I am convinced that with Madison Dearborn as our new financial sponsor, we add the potential of larger acquisitions to further enhance our market position."

The sale is solely conditional upon approval by the relevant competition authorities.

UBS acted as financial advisor and Lovells as legal advisor to EQT and management. JP Morgan advised and is providing financing to Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC.

EQT is a group of private equity funds that manages just below 6 billion in equity in 7 funds. EQT Partners, acting as investment advisor to all EQT funds, has offices in Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Frankfurt and Munich. EQT realises its business concept by acquiring and developing high-quality medium sized companies in Northern Europe. EQT serves as an active owner and works in close co-operation with the management of the companies it acquires, to develop and implement value-enhancing strategies. In total EQT has invested in 37 companies, with a combined enterprise value of approximately 13 billion.

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Bjoern Hoei Jensen, Partner
+49 170 79 26 210

Johan Hahnel, Director Communications & PR
+46 706 056 334