KKR Agrees To Purchase 1-800 Contacts From AEA Investors

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1-800 Contacts unveiled a deal through which investment firm KKR will buy the company from AEA Investors, according to a Wednesday (Sept. 23) announcement, which noted that financial terms of the arrangement were not made public.

The deal comes after a number of years of formidable expansion and innovation for the vision company that AEA Investors bought in 2016, according to the announcement.

“It’s gratifying that KKR sees such incredible value in our brand and that they will continue to support us in doing what we do best — delivering the best vision care to consumers with the highest quality customer service,” 1-800 Contacts CEO John Graham said in the announcement.

Innovation is at the heart of the strategy and differentiation as a trailblazing direct-to-consumer brand, according to the announcement. The firm has made investments in past years with the inclusion of buying 6over6 late last year and rolling out new mobile program technologies with the inclusion of ExpressExam that lets shoppers quickly renew prescriptions.

Liingo Eyewear, the firm’s sister brand, also debuted an app that discerns optical parameters straight from a pair of prescription eyewear.

A number of contact lens consumers turned to 1-800 Contacts instead of traditional physical retailers as those in the U.S. contended with stay-at-home mandates and closures due to pandemic earlier in 2020.

“During the peak of the COVID-19 shutdown, the company experienced a 100 percent year-over-year increase in new and returning customers,” according to the announcement.

The news comes as KKR inked a deal to purchase the Dutch holiday parks firm Roompot Group from PAI Partners.

Roompot, which was started in the Netherlands’ Zeeland region 55 years ago, is among the biggest holiday parks and campsite operators in Europe.

It has over 150 sites in its collection with the inclusion of parks, resorts and campsites in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Spain and France. It also offers reservation and other services to over 100 third-party park operators.

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