Apax Partners, a private equity firm based in the U.K., has agreed to acquire Rodenstock from Compass Partners, another investment fund and the majority shareholder of the German brand of high-end lenses and frames since February 2016. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. It is subject to applicable regulatory approvals and expected to be completed by mid-2021.
The last available figures for Rodenstock were communicated last year, indicating annual revenues of €450 million in 2019, or 6 percent more than the previous year, and a 23 percent EBITDA margin, or 2 percentage points higher than in 2018. The German company did not announce details of its 2020 performance yet but, according to its CEO Anders Hadegaard, it registered a “tremendous growth driven by its B.I.G. VISION technology which helped us to emerge from the Covid-19 stronger than most of its competitors.” It currently employs around 4,900 people globally and is trading in more than 85 countries through subsidiaries or distribution partners.
B.I.G. VISION stands for Biometric Intelligent Glasses, the upscale and individualized eyeglass lenses developed by the group that stand at the core of its strategy. In June 2020, Rodenstock had completed a €75 million capital increase from its existing shareholders to finance its future developments. The company also develops eyewear frames under the Rodenstock and Porsche Design brands but we estimate that more than 80 percent of its revenues derive from its lenses’ business.
Apax Partners is an international private equity firm registered in the U.K., with total investments of over $60 billion in different sectors including healthcare with Candela, a supplier of non-surgical aesthetic devices, or Acelity, a brand of wound-care products. The company said that it was commited to accelerate Rodenstock’s growth through innovation, commercial execution and digitization.