MyOptique has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Essilor
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.
Timm Schipporeit, Investor at Index Ventures commented:
“Today is an exciting milestone for a company that launched as Europe's first online optical retailer in 2004 and one that we’ve been fortunate to work with since its Series A. Operating in a £22bn European optical market, but one that remains largely offline, MyOptique had to reinvent customer experience of buying eyewear to earn the trust of customers. Through determination and innovation, the team has created one of Europe's largest players in the category with millions of customers, 250 employees, thousands of orders shipped daily, and double-digit annual growth for each of the past eight years. Together with Essilor, MyOptique is in a strong position to continue to deliver on its early vision.”
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.
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.
The world's leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Transitions®, Eyezen™, Xperio®, Foster Grant®, Bolon™ and Costa®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals. Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €6.7 billion in 2015 and employs 61,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 32 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as five research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit www.essilor.com. The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices. Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.