updated 12/9/2010 6:16:08 AM ET 2010-12-09T11:16:08

YORK, Pa., Dec. 9, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DENTSPLY International Inc. (Nasdaq:XRAY) announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with DIO Corporation (KOSDAQ – 039840), based in Busan, South Korea. DIO operations include a state-of-the art manufacturing facility in Busan, producing dental implant devices and associated accessories, which are marketed in numerous countries including many emerging markets. DENTSPLY's investment includes an initial ownership of less than 20% of the outstanding shares of DIO Corporation, with an additional investment in debentures, which may be converted into common shares after a one year period. Jin Cheol Kim and  Jin Baek Kim, co-founders of DIO, will retain a significant ownership in the Company and remain active in the management and operations of the business.

Bret W. Wise, DENTSPLY's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, "We are very pleased to enter this strategic partnership with DIO Corporation and look forward to working closely with their management team. Together our companies have world-class manufacturing capabilities for dental implant production in both Europe and Asia. This will allow us to better meet a broader range of customer needs, particularly in emerging markets. There is also a very strong cultural fit between our companies, as DIO's management team shares our commitment to leadership in innovation and quality."

Jin Cheol Kim, DIO's Chairman stated, "DIO is well positioned within the South Korean dental implant market and has already begun selling products in many other markets around the world. We are delighted to be partnering with DENTSPLY and look forward to working together to bring new options to our current and future customers."

This transaction includes synergistic opportunities for both companies and is expected to be slightly accretive to DENTSPLY's earnings in the first year excluding any related transaction adjustments and costs. This transaction is expected to close quickly.

DENTSPLY designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of dental products including dental implants, endodontic instruments and materials, orthodontic appliances, restorative materials, preventive materials and devices, and prosthetic materials and devices. The Company distributes its dental products in over 120 countries under some of the most well-established brand names in the industry. DENTSPLY is committed to the development of innovative, high quality, cost-effective new products for the dental market.

The DENTSPLY International Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4306

DIO Corporation manufactures a wide range of dental implants including STEADY, BioTite-H, SM implant, internal implant, external implant, ProTem implant, and SM Extra Wide implant systems. In additional, DIO offers various dental devices including implant surgical devices, handpiece, dental materials, impression materials, sterilizers, toothpaste that contains hydroxyapatite, and the iTero® 3D intra-oral scanner (Cadent Inc.). The company was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Busan, South Korea.

This press release contains forward-looking information (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) regarding future events or the future financial performance of the Company that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those in the projections or other forward-looking information set forth herein as a result of certain risk factors.

These risk factors include, without limitation; the continued strength of dental markets, the timing, success and market reception for our new and existing products, uncertainty with respect to governmental actions with respect to dental products, outcome of litigation, continued support of our products by influential dental professionals, and changes in the general economic environment that could affect our business. Changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results. For an additional description of risk factors, please refer to the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and its subsequent periodic reports on Forms 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CONTACT:  DENTSPLY International Inc.
          William R. Jellison, Senior Vice President and
           Chief Financial Officer
          (717) 849-4243

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