Black & Lizars, Scotland's largest independent optical group, is planning to expand throughout the U.K. and overseas following its acquisition by a London-based consortium in a deal reported to be worth more than £20 million (€25.4m-$39.6m), according to Optician magazine.
Before the takeover, Black & Lizars, which is based in Glasgow, had 25 outlets employing 255 staff. Now, the consortium, which is headed by Maurice Bennett, founder of the Warehouse group, Oasis Stores and Phase Eight, plans to acquire more branches in Scotland and Northern Ireland, in addition to developing the brand in England and exploring expansion possibilities on the European continent. The company will also have a new chief executive, Majid Sadjadi, the London-based international optical retail entrepreneur who founded the Spanish-based Europtic Center.
Black & Lizars was formed in 1999 through the merger of Lizars, which was founded in Glasgow in 1830, and C Jeffrey Black, which was founded in the 1940s. Prior to the acquisition, it was owned by five shareholders including the sole survivor of the Lizars family, Geoffrey Ballantine. Its directors, Colin Black, Peter Ivins and Ballantine will remain with the company.