FFL, CDPQ close take-private transaction for New Look Vision

FFL has a strong track record of investing in and building leading eyecare and optical retail businesses, including Eyemart Express and EyeCare Partners.

An investor group including FFL Partners, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family have acquired all of the outstanding Class A common shares of New Look Vision Group for $50 in cash per share. Upon completion of the deal, shares of Montreal-based New Look Vision are expected to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the close of trading on May 28, 2021.

PRESS RELEASE

MONTREAL, May 26, 2021 – New Look Vision Group Inc. (“New Look Vision” or the “Company”) (TSX: BCI.TO) today announced the completion of the transaction under which FFL Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), a global investment group, and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family have acquired all of the outstanding Class A common shares of the Company (the “Shares”) for $50.00 in cash per Share, other than certain Shares held by certain shareholders who received, in respect of such Shares, consideration consisting of common shares of the purchaser.

“We look forward to working together with our new partners to take New Look Vision to the next level of growth and add value for our customers, partners and employees across North America,” said Antoine Amiel, President and Chief Executive Officer of New Look Vision.

“We’re pleased with the successful outcome of this transaction,” said Chris Harris, Managing Partner at FFL Partners. “We look forward to supporting New Look Vision’s exceptional leadership team led by President and CEO Antoine Amiel, and pursuing significant opportunities that we’ve identified to further build its strong store network in North America’s vibrant and growing eye care market.”

“This investment in New Look Vision – the leading Canadian eye care products and services provider – is aligned with our approach to support thriving entrepreneurial businesses in their expansion. Alongside FFL Partners and New Look Vision’s strong management team, we look forward to contributing to the next chapter of the company’s growth and enduring success,” said Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Investments in Québec and Stewardship Investing at CDPQ.

FFL has a strong track record of investing in and building leading eyecare and optical retail businesses, including Eyemart Express, the second largest independent, value-focused optical retailer in the U.S.; and EyeCare Partners; one of the leading vision care providers and a former portfolio company of FFL.

CDPQ supports companies to grow, expand internationally, and accelerate their technological turn, while investing in projects that produce a more sustainable economy. CDPQ’s diverse presence in the health care services sector includes a previous investment in New Look Vision in 2019.

The Plan of Arrangement was originally announced on March 18, 2021, and was approved by the Company’s shareholders at a special meeting held on May 14, 2021. The Company obtained a final order from the Superior Court of Québec in respect of the Plan of Arrangement on May 18, 2021.

As a result of the completed transaction, the Shares of New Look Vision are expected to be delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange at the close of trading on May 28, 2021. The Company will submit an application to cease to be a reporting issuer under applicable Canadian securities laws and to otherwise terminate the Company’s public reporting requirements.

About New Look Vision

New Look Vision is the leading provider of eye care products and services across Canada and entered the United States market in 2020. The Company has retail sales of optical products which can be grouped into four principal categories: (i) prescription and non-prescription eyewear, (ii) contact lenses, (iii) sunglasses, protective eyewear and reading glasses, and (iv) accessories, such as cleaning products for eyeglasses and contact lenses. The Company’s network of stores totals 407 locations, operating mainly under the New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, Iris and Edward Beiner trade names. Certain prescription lenses are processed at the Company’s laboratory facility, located in Ville St-Laurent, Québec. For additional information please visit www.newlookvision.ca or consult our LinkedIn page.

About FFL Partners

Founded in 1997, FFL Partners is a San Francisco-based private equity firm with over US$4.5 billion under management. FFL pursues thematic investments in business services and healthcare services partnering with exceptional management teams where the firm’s high engagement operating model and extensive network can help accelerate growth and unlock value. Growing its businesses has provided over 75% of the value created by FFL for its investors. For additional information please visit www.fflpartners.com.

About CDPQ

At Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), we invest constructively to generate sustainable returns over the long term. As a global investment group managing funds for public retirement and insurance plans, we work alongside our partners to build enterprises that drive performance and progress. We are active in the major financial markets, private equity, infrastructure, real estate and private debt. As at December 31, 2020, CDPQ’s net assets total CA$365.5 billion. For more information, visit cdpq.com, follow us on Twitter or consult our Facebook or LinkedIn pages.