11 December 2018 Vendis Capital sells its stake in innovative optical retailer eyes + more to 3i backed Hans Anders
Diegem (BE), Son (NL), December 8, 2018 – Vendis Capital (“Vendis”) and the founders and managers of eyes+more announced today that they have sold eyes + more to 3i-backed Hans Anders, the market leading value-for-money optical retailer in the Benelux and Sweden.
eyes + more is an innovative optical retail concept operating 170 stores in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Austria. By applying a value-for-money strategy based on simple and transparent all-in prices, eyes + more is able to market prescription eyewear similar to fashionable accessories, a concept that differs significantly from competitors.
The company was founded in the Netherlands in 2005 by Eric Ezendam and Ad Mathijssen, both experienced eyewear professionals. After a first phase of rapid growth, Vendis Capital took a majority stake in 2010. At that time, the company had 27 stores in the Netherlands and 39 franchise stores in Germany. Since then, the growth has continued and resulted in the buy-back of the German master franchise, market entry in Austria and Belgium and continuous investments in the operations and store roll-out.
By acquiring eyes + more, Hans Anders expands its footprint to five countries, thus creating a leading European optical retail platform in the North-West European value-for-money segment. Hans Anders envisages to continue to roll-out the eyes + more concept.
Michiel Deturck, Partner at Vendis Capital, says “During our investment period, the company has more than doubled in size and profitability through fast organic growth. It was a privilege to help the founders and the management to develop this innovative concept and to support its international roll-out in four countries. We are very happy with the development of the company and would like to thank everybody within the company who contributed to the success story of eyes + more. We strongly believe in the concept’s innovativeness and are convinced that by joining forces with Hans Anders the company is well placed to continue its successful growth story”.
Bart van den Nieuwenhof, CEO Hans Anders, says: “eyes + more is a great strategic fit for Hans Anders and the acquisition will transform our company into a European platform, making it the leading North-West European optical retailer in the growing value-for-money segment. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at eyes + more.”
Boris Kawohl, Partner, 3i Private Equity, added: “This is an important acquisition for Hans Anders and fits well with 3i’s investment strategy of driving international growth in the value for money space. eyes + more is already a successful business and very closely aligned with Hans Anders in terms of its value-for-money positioning. It brings a strong geographical fit and an organic growth platform in the sizeable German optical retail market.”
Vendis Capital was advised by Simmons & Simmons (legal), GCA Altium (corporate finance), EY (financial and tax) and EY Parthenon (strategy).
Completion of the transaction is subject to customary approvals from competition authorities.