Essilor acquires contact lens distributor OOGP

Dallas?Essilor of America Inc. (EOA) has acquired an 80% stake in OOGP. This acquisition of OOGP will expand Essilor's services business for independent eye-care professionals (ECPs) by extending the distribution network for contact lenses and ophthalmic products.

Dallas-Essilor of America Inc. (EOA) has acquired an 80% stake in OOGP. This acquisition of OOGP will expand Essilor's services business for independent eye-care professionals (ECPs) by extending the distribution network for contact lenses and ophthalmic products.

EOA declined to say specifically how much it paid for the stake, but a spokeswoman said the price was similar to that paid for other companies in the sector in the United States, or "five to seven times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization less debt." EOA forecast the acquisition would add roughly $50 million to group sales, which were $3.66 billion in 2006.

OOGP is among the largest one-stop ophthalmic distributors, with a focus on contact lens distribution. OOGP also is a leader in incorporating computer technology warehouse automation and online ordering both in business-to-business and business-to-business-to-consumer.

OOGP currently has 120 employees and three distribution centers and customer service facilities in Oregon, Alabama, and Hawaii. The current OOGP management team will remain in place, including Dr. Kenji Hamada, OOGP. The company will operate as an independent subsidiary of EOA; customers, suppliers, and other business partners will continue to work with OOGP as they had been.

Dr. Hamada said, "We are excited for our employees and customers as this is another step toward future growth and success. Through this acquisition, Essilor and OOGP will be able to provide an even broader service network to the industry on a national and regional level."