Saturday, February 8, 2014
Private-Equity Firm Buys National Vision for More Than $1 Billion
"Private-equity firm KKR & Co. has reached an agreement to acquire discount eyewear retailer National Vision Inc. from a smaller buyout firm," according to the Wall Street Journal's Market Watch. "Berkshire Partners LLC is fetching more than $1 billion for the business, according to people familiar with the matter. National Vision, with headquarters in Lawrenceville, Ga., and a focus on low-cost products glasses and contact lenses, is one of the largest U.S. eyewear retailers. It operates more than 750 stores in 43 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, including Eyeglass World, America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and Bestcontacts.com. National Vision was taken into private ownership by Berkshire Partners n 2005 in a deal valued at about $104 million. In tandem with that buyout, National Vision bought closely held Consolidation Vision Group Inc. for $88 million. Boston-based Berkshire later added America's Best, a discount retailer that sells overstock designer frames, to the mix and in 2006 recapitalized National Vision in a deal that enabled the private-equity firm to recoup most of its original investment, the firm said at the time." Read more.