FFL invests in Clarkson Eyecare

FFL has made an undisclosed investment in Midwest optometry chain Clarkson Eyecare. HPC Puckett & Company provided financial advice to Clarkson Eyecare on the transaction while Golub Capital provided financing.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO—April 6, 2015— FFL, a leading private equity firm focused on middle market companies, today announced that it has completed a growth investment in Clarkson Eyecare, Inc., a leading independent, full service eye care provider. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed.

Clarkson Eyecare is one of the largest optometry chains in the Midwest, with 63 locations in Missouri and Southern Illinois, and 19 locations in Ohio and Northern Kentucky. The company, founded in 1979, serves the vision care needs of more than 180,000 patients annually, offering ophthalmological and LASIK services in two state-of-the-art surgery centers. In addition, Clarkson Eyecare has developed its own proprietary software platform that electronically manages appointment scheduling, insurance verification, billing, and inventory levels.

“This partnership will enable Clarkson Eyecare to expand and serve more patients and partner with leading regional brands throughout the country,” said Anthony Nunn, President and CEO Clarkson Eyecare. “FFL shares our vision for the company’s future, and has the resources, industry knowledge and operational experience to help us realize our tremendous potential.”

“Working closely with FFL, we will accelerate our growth both organically and through strategic acquisitions of high-quality practices that can benefit from our strong infrastructure, platform and network,” added Dr. Jim Wachter Chief Medical Officer and Co-Chairman of the Board of Clarkson Eyecare. Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Jehling, Founder of Clarkson, will continue to provide strategic guidance for the company and serve as Co-Chairman on the Board of Directors going forward.

The U.S. optical market has experienced steady growth and recorded more than $31 billion in sales in 2014.
“Clarkson Eyecare is a premier, medically-focused optical provider with a strong track record of working with doctors who provide the highest quality care and an excellent patient experience,” said Chris Harris, Managing Director of FFL. “We believe the company is uniquely positioned for sustained long-term growth in the fragmented, independent optometric space. We look forward to working with Anthony Nunn, Dr. Jim Wachter, and the rest of the management team to drive further growth and to achieve their vision for the company.”

HPC Puckett & Company acted as financial advisor to Clarkson Eyecare and Golub Capital provided financing for the transaction.

FFL is a San Francisco-based US middle market private equity firm. For over fifteen years, the firm has helped build industry-leading companies, providing capital and advice to exceptional management teams to grow businesses and unlock value. FFL has deep experience in investing and operations, and has brought large-company best practices and professional networks to smaller companies. Business growth has provided over 75% of the value created by FFL for its investors. FFL manages over $4.5 billion of capital, and invests in consumer products and services, financial services, healthcare services, and business services. For more information, visit www.fflpartners.com.

About Clarkson Eyecare
Based in St. Louis, and founded in 1979 by Dr. Lawrence Jehling, Clarkson Eyecare currently offers comprehensive medical eye care services at more than 80 offices located throughout Missouri, Southern Illinois, Ohio and Northern Kentucky. Clarkson serves the vision care needs of over 180,000 patients annually and offers ophthalmological and LASIK service, and an integrated full service lab. Clarkson’s “Eyecare360” software has been specifically designed for the optical retail industry and has benefited from years of feedback from Clarkson optometrists, opticians and office staff. For more information, visit www.ClarksonEyecare.com or call 888.EYECARE.