CVC Capital Partners has acquired Synsam Nordic, an optical retailer from Alipes AB and former store owners. Synsam’s history stretches back to 1968 when independent opticians in Sweden joined forces under a common brand name.
Funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) today announced the successful acquisition of Synsam Nordic A/S (“Synsam”), the leading optical retailer in the Nordic region, from Alipes AB (“Alipes”) and former store owners.
Synsam’s history stretches back to 1968 when independent opticians in Sweden joined forces under a common brand name. Alipes identified significant development opportunities within the fragmented Nordic optical market and during the years 2007 to 2009 performed, together with former store owners, over 200 individual acquisitions of Synsam and Profil Optik stores in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. During Alipes’ holding period, a strong Nordic management team has been established, who has, together with the employees, developed store operations and customer offering and at the same time improved efficiency and centralised functions such as finance, administration and purchasing resulting in significant synergies.
Synsam is today the largest optical retail chain in the Nordic region with more than 420 own stores and franchisees in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Synsam offers a wide quality assortment of spectacles, contact lenses, sunglasses, accessories and eye examinations. In 2013, Synsam reported revenues of approximately SEK 3 billion and had some 2,600 employees.
Gunnar Selving and Richard Silén, partners at Alipes: “Synsam is our oldest portfolio company (2007) and we are proud of having worked together with former store owners and an excellent management team to develop it from a voluntary retail chain to the leading integrated optical retail chain in the Nordic. We wish Synsam and all of its employees continued success as they continue to grow under their new owners, CVC.”
Joakim Forsell, CEO of Synsam, said: “With its retail focus, Alipes has been a solid and long term owner and a dedicated partner to the management in the transactions and acquisitions we have made during our Nordic journey.”
Forsell continued: “I really look forward to continue to develop Synsam in close cooperation with CVC. CVC has an excellent track record of making long-term, value-creating investments in its portfolio companies and has extensive experience within retail. Our common objective is to continue to grow the company, both organically and through acquisitions, as we have done in recent years, as well as to further develop and improve our customers offerings.”
In a joint statement, Peter Törnquist and Søren Vestergaard-Poulsen, partners at CVC, said: “Synsam is a successful company which has been transformed into an integrated retail chain. With attractive market positions, a strong brand name and an extensive store network as well as an emerging online offering, Synsam is now ready to take the next step in its development. We look forward to working closely with Synsam’s management in the coming years to support this development and to realise the company’s long term potential as a leading modern optical retailer.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to customary competition clearances.
CVC was advised by Access Partners, Roschier, Freshfields, KPMG, Quartz, BCG and AON. Financing was led by Nordea.
About CVC Capital Partners
CVC Capital Partners (‘CVC’) is one of the world’s leading private equity and investment advisory firms. Founded in 1981, CVC today has a network of 21 offices and over 300 employees throughout Europe, Asia and the US. Currently, CVC manages funds on behalf of over 300 investors from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, amounting to over US$65 billion. CVC has during the last 30 years completed over 300 investments with an aggregate transaction value of over US$125 billion globally, of which 20 investments have been made in the Nordic region during the last 20 years. CVC has offices in Stockholm and Copenhagen.
Synsam is the leading optical retailer in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, holding a market share of approximately 25%. The Company operates a network of 319 own stores as well as 103 franchise stores in the three countries.
The Company targets the quality segment offering a wide range of spectacles, contact lenses, sunglasses, accessories and eye examinations. It holds exclusive rights to a number of world famous brands and offers the latest generation spectacle lenses and contact lenses, with high quality and competence, from leading manufacturers in addition to private label product offerings.
The Company’s stores in Sweden and Norway operate under the Synsam brand and the stores in Denmark operate under the Profil Optik brand. Each of the brands is associated with quality and competence, enjoys outstanding customer loyalty and top of mind recognition among consumers. In Finland, Synsam is represented through a cooperation agreement with a Finnish optical retail chain, operating under the Synsam brand.
Alipes AB is an investment company owned by Inter IKEA Investments and Ikano. Alipes invests in the Nordic retail and consumer sector.
T: +46 8 463 34 30
CVC Capital Partners:
Brunswick Group (Stockholm), Annette Brodin Rampe
T: +46 738 52 42 31
Brunswick Group (London), James Olley
T: +44 (0)80 7404 5959