AEA Investors LP said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy a majority of 1-800 Contacts Inc. from Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. Financial terms weren’t announced. THL will remain an investor in the company. Credit Suisse and Barclays, as well as an affiliate of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, are providing debt financing. 1-800 Contacts is the largest retailer of contact lenses in the United States. Credit Suisse and Barclays advised AEA while CapM Advisors provided financial advice to THL/1-800 Contacts.
DRAPER, Utah, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — AEA Investors, LP (“AEA”) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority interest of 1-800 Contacts, Inc. (the “Company”) from Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”), who will remain a significant shareholder in the Company. Credit Suisse and Barclays, as well as an affiliate of the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs, are providing debt financing to support the purchase. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We welcome AEA’s new investment alongside THL as a strong reflection of the Company’s success in growing its business and an indication of how well 1-800 Contacts is positioned in the marketplace,” said Brian Bethers, CEO of 1-800 Contacts. “We intend to maintain and extend the Company’s market leading strategies and exceptional customer service through a continued commitment to our core values.”
AEA was advised by Credit Suisse and Barclays and THL and the Company were advised by CapM Advisors.
About 1-800 Contacts, Inc.
1-800 Contacts is the largest retailer of contact lenses in the United States, and is dedicated to making it easier for consumers to purchase contact lenses. Through its award-winning website (www.1800contacts.com), its easy-to-remember telephone number, and its 5-star mobile app, the Company has served almost 11 million customers, delivering more than 200,000 contact lenses every day. The Company also provides contact lens sourcing and fulfillment services to leading brick-and-mortar retailers.
About AEA Investors, LP
Founded by the Rockefeller, Mellon and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. in 1968, AEA Investors is a pioneer in the private equity industry with an unparalleled global network of investors, business leaders and sector-focused industry professionals. AEA’s individual investors include more than 75 of the world’s leading industrial families, business executives and former government leaders. AEA Investors currently manages funds that have approximately$9.0 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies and mezzanine and senior debt investing. AEA’s network of relationships, experience and deep industry expertise in operating businesses helps us evaluate investment opportunities and work with portfolio companies to achieve superior, risk-adjusted returns for investors. www.aeainvestors.com
About Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. is one of the world’s oldest and most experienced private equity firms. The firm invests in growth-oriented businesses, headquartered principally in North America, across three broad sectors: Consumer & Healthcare, Media & Information Services, and Business & Financial Services. Since its founding in 1974, THL has raised over $20 billion of equity capital and invested in more than 130 businesses with an aggregate purchase price of more than $150 billion. THL strives to build great companies of lasting value and generate superior investment returns. For more information, please visit www.thl.com.