O’Melveny Advises Fielmann Group on Acquisition of SVS Vision
June 12, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILICON VALLEY—June 12, 2023—O’Melveny advised the Fielmann Group, a leading European eyewear provider, on its complementary acquisition of SVS Vision, a Michigan-based optical retailer that operates more than 80 stores across nine US states.
As part of the transaction, which was announced on June 7, the Fielmann Group will acquire 100% equity ownership of SVS Vision.
The Fielmann Group is a German family business that makes fashionable eyewear affordable and serves more than 27 million customers via its omnichannel platform consisting of digital sales channels and about 1,000 retail stores.
The O’Melveny team advising the Fielmann Group was led by partner and Silicon Valley Office Head Paul Sieben, counsel Viq Shariff, and associates Kayla Tanaka, Thasos Athens, and Annapreet Virk. Fielmann was also advised on the transaction by its German counsel, GvW Graf von Westphalen, led by partner, Titus Walek.
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The Fielmann Group issued the following announcement:
Optical retailer Fielmann Group enters US market, acquires SVS Vision and Befitting
First step in long-term plan of German family business to empower US eyewear customers
HAMBURG, GERMANY, AND DETROIT, MICHIGAN, USA – 7 June 2023– The Fielmann Group, a leading European eyewear provider, today announced that it is entering the US market with two complementary acquisitions. This is an important milestone in the internationalisation that the German family business pursues with its Vision 2025 growth strategy.
The Fielmann Group has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% equity ownership of SVS Vision, an optical retailer that operates more than 80 stores across 9 US states. As the market leader in the state of Michigan, SVS Vision generated more than US$100 million in sales in 2022. The transaction is expected to close by 31 August 2023, subject to customary closing conditions.
The Fielmann Group also announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 100% equity ownership of Eyevious Style, Inc., the company known for its online eyewear retailer Befitting. The online retailer simplifies eyewear shopping for vision insurance customers. This transaction is expected to close today.
Marc Fielmann, CEO of the Fielmann Group: “Fielmann’s purpose is to help everyone hear and see the beauty in the world. Our acquisitions of SVS Vision and Befitting are in line with our Vision 2025 with which we digitalise and internationalise our family business. This is the first step in our long-term plan to re-define what US consumers can expect of eyecare and eyewear.”
In connection with the transactions, the Fielmann Group announced that it has appointed Lukas Ruecker as CEO of Fielmann USA, Inc. Lukas joins the Fielmann Group after spending more than a decade at Luxottica. Over the last ten years, he served as President of EyeMed Vision Care which he transformed into the fastest-growing vision benefits provider globally.
Lukas Ruecker, CEO of Fielmann USA, Inc.: “Over its 50 year history, the Fielmann Group has shaped the European eyewear market with its signature customer centricity. SVS Vision is known for its friendly service, great people and longstanding heritage while Befitting provides an exceptional digital platform and outstanding talent. Combined they constitute the Fielmann Group’s omnichannel platform with which we are going to empower our customers in US optical retail.”
Hamburg, Germany – 7 June 2023
Fielmann Group (Fielmann Aktiengesellschaft)
The Management Board
About the Fielmann Group:
The Fielmann Group is a German family business that serves more than 27 million customers via its omnichannel platform consisting of digital sales channels and about 1,000 retail stores. Founded in 1972, it is led by Marc Fielmann, representing the second generation of the Fielmann Family who still owns the majority of the company’s stock. By making fashionable eyewear affordable and staying true to its customer-centric values, the Fielmann Group is consistently reaching customer satisfaction and retention rates of more than 90% and has to-date fitted more than 170 million pairs of individual prescription glasses. The family business employs more than 23,000 people worldwide.
About SVS Vision:
SVS Vision is an optical retailer based in Mt. Clemens, MI, USA. The company is the market leader in the state of Michigan and operates a total of more than 80 stores across 9 US states. The privately held business employs around 650 people and generated more than US$100 million in external sales in FY2022. SVS Vision also owns and operates its own optical laboratory as well as a vision insurance.
Befitting (Eyevious Style, Inc.) is a technology provider and online optical retailer that makes eyewear shopping with vision insurance fun and easy. The company employs 26 specialists in Canada and the United States.