Beringea sells MyOptique investment to Essilor
London, 16 Aug 2016
The MyOptique Group, a major European online optical retailer with annual revenues of GBP 57 million, announces today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics.
Subsequent to the transaction the management of MyOptique will remain in place, and will leverage Essilor International's capabilities to continue growing its leading position in Europe. As part of Essilor, MyOptique will leverage Essilor’s global supply chain and collaborate with its other operating businesses to improve the reach and effectiveness of its business across Europe.
Kevin Cornils, CEO of MyOptique, commented:
"This transaction represents a major milestone for the MyOptique Group. Our new ownership provides a tremendous platform from which to continue to build a very successful business on our proven multi-category, multi-brand model. My management team and I are delighted by the opportunity afforded from becoming part of the Essilor family."
Maurice Helfgott, Chairman of MyOptique, commented:
“The strong success of MyOptique in the European marketplace owes so much to its entrepreneurial founders, its smart and supportive investors and its visionary and talented management team led by Kevin Cornils. The business has achieved pan European scale, is growing fast and had a number of strategic options for its next stage. Joining Essilor, the world leader in ophthalmic optics, was by far the most compelling one.”
MyOptique is a privately held, Venture Capital backed business. Shareholders who supported the successful development of the company and will sell their shares in this transaction include Acton Capital Partners, Beringea, Cipio Partners, Index Ventures, Korys and Highland Capital Europe.
Maria Wagner, Investment Director at Beringea commented:
“Beringea was proud to be a part of the Series C funding round in 2014, also the year that MyOptique celebrated its 10th birthday, and a follow-on round in 2015. MyOptique is a leader in European eCommerce transforming the glasses, sunglasses and contact lenses markets, and providing exemplary customer service. All six of its solid brands have played a major part in the group's success. We wish Kevin and the team the best of luck as they continue to grow."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
Note to editors:
MyOptique is a major online player across all eyewear categories - prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses – in Europe. It has enjoyed double-digit growth over each of the last eight years.
The Group operates six online retail brands – Glasses Direct, SunglassesShop, LensOn, Lensbest, Eyewearbrands and Netzoptiker. Together they have served three million customers and have shipped over 280 million contact lenses and 7 million glasses and sunglasses.
MyOptique’s brands share a record of driving innovation to provide the best possible customer experience. Glasses Direct (founded by Jamie Murray Wells), was the first to take prescription eyewear online, to offer customers a home trial, and to have a virtual mirror. Lensbest was the first to sell contact lenses by mail order in Germany, and to sell own brand contacts as a fully certified medical producer. LensOn was the first in the Nordics to introduce one click reordering for contact lenses.
The innovation continues – in 2015 Glasses Direct was recognised as delivering the best ecommerce experience in the Retail Week Customer Experience Awards, winning Outstanding Digital Experience for Ditto, its new cutting-edge 3D virtual try on service. It is also a Future Fifty company – recognised by the British Government for its growth and innovation in the optical market.
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Head of brand communications
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Beringea is a venture and growth capital investor in high growth businesses, with £450m ($600m) under management and 60 portfolio companies. Based in London, UK, and Michigan, U.S., Beringea is able to invest between £1m - £20m into businesses looking for a supportive growth partner.
With £170 million managed from London, and over 40 portfolio businesses, Beringea’s UK team manages one of the country's biggest evergreen venture and growth capital funds. The team of highly experienced investors has a great track record across a variety of sectors, and has demonstrated a consistent ability to identify winning companies and outstanding management teams.
For further information please contact:
Laura Morrissey, FieldHouse Associates, +44(0)7772124299