SIOF 2021 postponed to May

The 20th China (Shanghai) International Optics Fair, scheduled to be held in Shanghai in February, has been relayed to May 6-8, 2021, at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC).

The descision was taken in compliance to China State Council’s ‘guidance to implement joint prevention and control mechanism on the normalization and containment of the new coronavirus epidemic’.

The organizers report that at the latest count, SIOF 2021 has gathered 194 international exhibitors from 23 countries and regions, and that 255 global brands shall be on display. Over 600 Chinese exhibitors will be present. 30 % of of the exhibitors are from the field of visual test equipment and manufacturing and processing machinery.

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Apax Funds to acquire Rodenstock

Funds advised by Apax (the “Apax Funds”) have announced an agreement to acquire Rodenstock from Compass Partners.

Founded in 1877, Rodenstock has been a global leader in prescription lenses for over 140 years. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Rodenstock employs around 4,900 people worldwide and is represented by sales subsidiaries and distribution partners in more than 85 countries. Rodenstock‘s patented DNEye Pro technology stands at the core of its business strategy and made Rodenstock the first company to measure the individual shape and size of each eye and use thousands of data points to produce individualized eyeglass lenses. The company’s portfolio also includes eyewear under the Rodenstock and Porsche Design brands.

The Apax Funds says it will support the Rodenstock management team’s vision of accelerating the company’s growth through innovation, commercial execution and digitization, whilst continuing to deliver the highest level of service to clients and partners. The Apax Healthcare team have an understanding of innovative medical technology through prior investments in the space, including companies such as Candela, a non-surgical aesthetic device company, and Acelity, a global leader in wound-care products.

Anders Hedegaard, CEO of Rodenstock, said: “We are excited to partner with the Apax Funds, who have a proven culture of investing for growth, and who will be able to support Rodenstock’s continued quest to develop and produce the highest quality lenses for our customers. During 2020 we saw tremendous growth driven by our B.I.G. VISION™ technology, which helped us emerge from the Covid-19 crisis stronger than most of our competitors. Our innovative technology enhances the value proposition that can be delivered by our opticians, who in turn are delivering optimal vision to consumers. With the support of Apax we are looking to expand our presence even further by offering our customers more excellent and innovative products.”

Steven Dyson, Partner at Apax and Co-Head of Healthcare, commented: “Rodenstock fits perfectly with the Apax Funds’ healthcare strategy of investing in innovative companies with a differentiated customer proposition and the potential to achieve stand-out growth. Under Anders’ management, Rodenstock’s strategic refocus has already translated into strong performance in 2019 and 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, creating a robust foundation for future success.”

Arthur Brothag, Partner at Apax, added: “Rodenstock has a strong reputation for innovation and German engineering proven over 140 years, and has created a paradigm shift in progressive lenses with B.I.G. VISION™. We look forward to leveraging the Apax Funds’ experience and know-how in MedTech and supporting the entire Rodenstock team on further driving innovation and accelerating transformational growth.”

Tim Wright, Partner at Compass Partners, commented: “In the last 5 years Rodenstock has been transformed into a global leader in ophthalmic lenses. We are delighted that the Apax Funds have agreed to acquire the business. We believe their partnership with Anders Hedegaard and his team will provide a strong platform for future growth which will allow Rodenstock to maximize its full potential.”

The transaction is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the middle of 2021. Financial terms were not disclosed.



EssilorLuxottica signs agreement to acquire Walman in the U.S.

EssilorLuxottica has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. based lab network Walman. Walman, which has been a leading partner to vision care practices around the country for more than 100 years, will draw on EssilorLuxottica’s focus on product and service innovation to create growth opportunities for the company.

“Walman is a company we’ve admired as a longtime partner – they share EssilorLuxottica’s customer-first sensibility and our relentless pursuit of higher service standards. They also share our history of employee shareholding, which makes them an ideal cultural fit for our family. Walman has cultivated broad recognition and relationship equity and we will invest in the areas that make them such a great partner to the industry,” commented Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and Deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica.

Walman has a network of 35 facilities across the U.S., including prescription lens-finishing labs and hubs for optical instruments and other vision care products. As part of EssilorLuxottica, Walman will continue to serve the market under the Walman brand

“EssilorLuxottica’s investment in Walman is an important next step for our customers and employees”, said Marty Bassett, President & CEO of Walman. “It was time for Walman to find an investment partner to support its future success. We chose EssilorLuxottica because of our shared values and their proven history of working with independent businesses to accelerate growth while supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and company culture that made each business successful in the first place.”

The transaction is expected to close in the coming months pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.