GCA Altium acted as exclusive financial advisor to Paragon Partners on the acquisition of pro optik, Germany’s third largest optical retail chain. GCA Altium provided Paragon Partners with both M&A and debt advice.
Since its foundation in 1987, pro optik has grown from a single store to the third largest optician chain in Germany. In 2018, pro optik generated revenues of €125m and the chain currently spans a network of 145 stores in Germany. The product range includes both branded designer frames as well as value-for-money private label frames in combination with high-quality lenses, selling around 400,000 pairs of glasses per year. Recently, the company added hearing aids to its offering. As part of the succession plan the founders of pro optik decided to sell their majority shareholding in the company to Munich based Paragon Partners and to Hannibal Zemariam, long-time pro optik employee and Managing Director.
Peter Hoppert, co-founder of pro optik: „With Paragon Partners we have identified a highly experienced and reliable investor who ensures the continuity of pro optik and supports the succession to Hannibal Zemariam.“ The two founders, Rainer Hildebrandt and Peter Hoppert, will continue to hold a financial interest in pro optik. „A sustainable relationship with our partners is of great importance to us. Therefore, we will remain committed to pro optik, also financially, and will support the new owner in an advisory role,“ said Hildebrandt.
Paragon Partners is providing capital for further growth and will help to deliver the group’s strategy and planned expansion in coming years. Hannibal Zemariam commented: „I am looking forward to working with Paragon Partners. I am planning to drive the group’s growth through the further roll-out of the newly launched hearing product segment and, in parallel, will also be looking into potential acquisitions of smaller chains.“
Moritz von Bodman, Managing Director of GCA Altium: „It has been a privilege to advise Paragon Partners on the acquisition of pro optik. This marks yet another consumer retail deal advised by GCA Altium and our second optical retail transaction in 2019. Earlier this year, we advised eyes+more, Germany’s fourth largest optical retail chain, on the sale to 3i-backed Hans Anders, the market leading value-for-money optical retailer in Benelux and Sweden.”
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed and it is subject to customary approvals from competition authorities.