Patterson Dental Acquires EagleSoft

Increases Penetration of Dental Offices

    ST. PAUL, Minn., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Patterson Dental Company
 (Nasdaq:   PDCO) today announced an agreement to purchase EagleSoft
 Incorporated, a leading provider of dental practice management systems with
 approximately $4.0 million in sales.  The acquisition will be treated as a
 pooling of interests.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
     "The acquisition of EagleSoft is an additional step in our strategy to
 further penetrate the dentist's front office with a new software line for
 managing the dental practice.  Patterson already offers the largest selection
 of consumable supplies, high-technology equipment, and front office forms and
 stationery," said Peter L. Frechette, president and chief executive officer.
 "Software programs, which can electronically link patient accounts with dental
 records, are the next phase in more efficient practice management, and we're
 excited to be able to make it available to our customers."
     "At Patterson, we have built our reputation on our ability to anticipate
 practitioners' needs and quickly provide a solution with the right products
 and technologies.  These types of  initiatives help us attract new accounts
 and increase our retention of existing accounts.  Our partnership with
 EagleSoft is another example of our proactive efforts to support the growth
 and effectiveness of our customers' operations.  We are now, more than ever,
 able to leverage our position as a single source supplier ," said Frechette.
     Patterson Dental Company is the largest distributor of dental products in
 North America.  The company supplies more than 75,000 products to dentists,
 dental laboratories, institutions, physicians and other health care providers.
 These products include x-ray film, latex gloves, impression and restorative
 materials, hand instruments, sterilization products, front office forms and
 stationery as well as capital equipment.  Patterson markets its products and
 services through nearly 800 direct sales representatives and equipment
 specialists in the United States and Canada, and ships approximately 97
 percent of its consumable goods within 24 hours of receipt.
     Statements in this press release which are not strictly historical are
 "forward-looking" statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor
 provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and are
 qualified in their entirety by cautionary language set forth in documents
 filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Forward-
 looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
 factors, which may cause the company's actual results in the future to differ
 materially from expected results.  These risks, uncertainties and other
 factors include, among others, competition and growth within the dental supply
 and healthcare forms industries; the successful integration of the EagleSoft
 operations; unforeseen operating risks; and the effects of economic
 conditions.  These factors, among others, are described in greater detail in
 the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SOURCE Patterson Dental Company

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