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ACQUISITION OF HEALTHCO CANADA, INC., BY PATTERSON DENTAL COMPANY APPROVED BY U.S. BANKRUPTCY COURT

 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Patterson Dental Company (NASDAQ: PDCO) announced today that a U.S. bankruptcy court in Worcester, Mass. has approved Patterson's acquisition of Healthco Canada, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Healthco International, Inc. Boston-based Healthco International is currently in Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.
 Peter L. Frechette, president and chief executive officer of Patterson Dental, said he expected the acquisition to close on or about Oct. 1. Terms of the stock purchase transaction were not disclosed.
 "This initial entry into the Canadian market represents a logical extension of our growth strategy," said Frechette in response to the court's approval. "Healthco Canada ranks among the two largest dental products distributors in Canada. Headquartered in Montreal, Healthco Canada has 11 locations throughout Canada and approximately 400 employees, including approximately 90 sales representatives. We expect to strengthen its operations by offering a larger product selection, several value-added services, improved distribution and state-of-the-art technology."
 Patterson had announced an agreement in principle to acquire Healthco Canada on Aug. 6, subject to certain conditions including approval of the bankruptcy court. On Sept. 7, Judge James Queenan of the bankruptcy court ordered that a bidding process be initiated and a hearing be set for today to approve the sale of Healthco Canada to the highest bidder. Frechette said Patterson received approval at today's hearing.
 Patterson Dental Company is the largest distributor of dental products in the United States. The company supplies more than 50,000 products to dentists, dental laboratories and institutions, including x-ray film and solutions, impression and restorative materials, hand instruments, and sterilization and protective products and equipment. Patterson markets its products and services through more than 500 direct sales representatives and equipment specialists nationwide and ships approximately 96 percent of its orders within 24 hours of receipt. For the fiscal year ended April 24, 1993, Patterson Dental had net sales of $342.8 million and net income of $12.8 million or 90 cents per share.
 -0- 9/24/93
 /CONTACT: Ronald Ezerski, vice president and CFO, of Patterson Dental, 612-854-2881; or Fred Nachman of the Financial Relations Board, 312-266-7800, for Patterson Dental/
 (PDCO)


CO: Patterson Dental Company ST: Minnesota IN: MTC SU: TNM

DS-AL -- MN012 -- 5486 09/24/93 14:51 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 24, 1993
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