Pro Optik, a chain of 140 mostly franchised stores in Germany, is selling the majority of its shares to Paragon Partners, an investment company from Munich, and to Hannibal Zemariam, who joined the company as chief executive in July 2018. Details of the transaction and the distribution of shares have not been disclosed. Rainer Hildebrandt and Peter Hoppert, founders of the company and general managers for the past 30 years, remain minority shareholders. Zemariam worked at a number of the German chain's stores at the start of his career, before spending several years as key account manager at a distribution company. He then rejoined Pro Optik, this time in a leading position, as he had become more familiar with its internal business processes. Working together with Rainer Hildebrandt and Peter Hoppert, he was largely responsible for the growth of the company, whose sales have doubled in the past ten years to €125 million. Zemariam will probably take charge of the company when Hildebrandt and Hoppert withdraw from its operative business. According to experts, Pro Optik's operative margin, based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), is about 14 or 15 percent. Its Ebitda is said to exceed €15 million. The transaction is subject to the approval of Germany's antitrust authorities, which is expected by the end of August.

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