August 2016, MyOptique Exit


The MyOptique Group, a major European online optical retailer with annual revenues of GBP 57 million, announces today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Essilor International, the world leader in ophthalmic optics 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. Thomas De Kempeneer, Investment Manager at Korys commented: “We are delighted with our successful investment in MyOptique. The Company has developed very well to a value driven, innovative player in the eyewear industry and has reached the needed pan-European scale to be successful in the long term. Management has clearly demonstrated the craftsmanship in retailing we look for in our investments” The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

About MyOptique

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.

For further information, please contact:

Jo Jeffery

Head of brand communications

+44 (0)7930 393363