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3M Acquires Developer of 3-D Imaging Technology for Digital Dentistry, Brontes Technologies Inc.

Monday, October 16, 2006 8:00 am CDT

Dateline:

ST. PAUL, Minn.
"Adding Brontes’ innovative technology to our oral care business, along with previously announced investments and partnerships, strengthens our technology portfolio and product development programs for the future, and creates solid platforms for growth in adjacent market segments"

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--3M today acquired Brontes Technologies Inc., a Lexington, Mass.-based developer of proprietary 3-D intraoral imaging technology for $95 million in cash.

The acquisition adds to 3M’s oral care business proprietary intraoral scanning technology that enables capturing 3-D digital dental impressions used to design and produce crowns, bridges and orthodontic appliances. Digital dentistry represents an important growth opportunity for 3M as oral care procedures transition to digital processes.

Traditional methods for creating an impression of teeth involve placing conformable materials inside the mouth. Dental professionals continue to seek more convenient and patient-friendly impression solutions. Brontes’ leading edge intraoral scanning system will offer dentists a new and powerful way to capture high-speed, precise impressions digitally, with no materials involved, and provide significant productivity enhancements and high-quality care for patients.

“This investment reflects 3M’s commitment to advanced technology and to invest in markets which are likely to become high-growth areas in the not too distant future,” said Brad Sauer, executive vice president, 3M Health Care Business.

“Adding Brontes’ innovative technology to our oral care business, along with previously announced investments and partnerships, strengthens our technology portfolio and product development programs for the future, and creates solid platforms for growth in adjacent market segments,” said Tom Engels, division vice president, 3M ESPE.

“We believe that intraoral 3-D scanning will become the standard of care in our field, and we have confidence that 3M will help our vision become a reality,” commented Eric Paley, chief executive, Brontes Technologies. “We’re delighted to join the 3M team.”

One of the world’s largest suppliers to the dental industry, 3M manufactures and markets a wide range of products and services used by dental professionals worldwide to improve oral health. These products are designed to meet restorative, crown and bridge, orthodontic, preventive, infection control, and cosmetic dentistry needs. 3M’s current digital dentistry offering includes the Lava crown and bridge system – an innovative restorative design and milling system that has become a benchmark of quality among dentists and dental labs.

The transaction will result in an estimated fourth-quarter 2006 charge in the range of $0.12 to $0.13 per share, reflecting the one-time write-off of in-process research and development costs. Financial accounting standards require companies to expense such costs upon completion of the transaction. 3M will discuss fourth-quarter earnings guidance on Oct. 20 during its third-quarter earnings conference call.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) about the company’s financial results and estimates, business prospects, and products under development that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. You can identify these statements by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: (1) worldwide economic conditions; (2) competitive conditions and customer preferences; (3) foreign currency exchange rates and fluctuations in those rates; (4) the timing and acceptance of new product offerings; (5) the availability and cost of purchased components, compounds, raw materials and energy (including oil and natural gas and their derivatives) due to shortages, increased demand or supply interruptions (including those caused by natural and other disasters and other events); (6) the impact of acquisitions, strategic alliances, divestitures, and other unusual events resulting from portfolio management actions and other evolving business strategies, and possible organizational restructuring; (7) generating less productivity improvements than estimated; and (8) legal proceedings, including the outcome of pending Congressional action concerning asbestos-related litigation and other significant developments that could occur in the legal and regulatory proceedings described in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year-ended Dec. 31, 2005 (the “Report”). Changes in such assumptions or factors could produce significantly different results. A further description of these factors is located in the Report under Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors.” The information contained in this news release is as of the date indicated. The company assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this news release as a result of new information or future events or developments.

About Brontes Technologies Inc.

Brontes’ “real-time” 3-D intraoral imaging technology can quickly and conveniently scan both arches of the mouth and will provide an alternative to the traditional dental impression process. Brontes’ technology will capture 3-D digital data directly from the patient’s mouth and enable streamlining the production of a wide variety of dental restorations and appliances. The Brontes 3-D system will provide patients high-quality care, offer dentists significant productivity enhancements, and give laboratories more automated fabrication processes.

About 3M - A Global, Diversified Technology Company

Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company's customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the people of 3M use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation.

3M ESPE Dental and 3M Unitek Orthodontics are part of 3M Health Care, which provides world-class innovative products and services to help health-care professionals improve the practice and delivery of patient care in medical, dental, orthodontic, pharmaceutical and health information markets.

Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command, Vikuiti, and Lava are trademarks of 3M.

Contact:

3M, St. Paul
Investor Contacts:
Matt Ginter, 651-733-8206
or
Bruce Jermeland, 651-733-1807
or
Media Contact:
Stephen Sanchez, 651-737-5967