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EssilorLuxottica to Acquire Walman Lab Network

Walman operates 35 facilities across the U.S.




EssilorLuxottica is acquiring Minneapolis-based lab network Walman.

Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and Deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica, said in a statement: “Walman is a company we’ve admired as a longtime partner — they share EssilorLuxottica’s customerfirst sensibility and our relentless pursuit of higher service standards. They also share our history of employee shareholding, which makes them an ideal cultural fit for our family. Walman has cultivated broad recognition and relationship equity and we will invest in the areas that make them such a great partner to the industry.”

Walman has a network of 35 facilities across the U.S., including prescription lens-finishing labs and hubs for optical instruments and other vision care products.

“EssilorLuxottica’s investment in Walman is an important next step for our customers and employees,” said Marty Bassett, president and CEO of Walman. “It was time for Walman to find an investment partner to support its future success. We chose EssilorLuxottica because of our shared values and their proven history of working with independent businesses to accelerate growth while supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and company culture that made each business successful in the first place.”

The transaction “is expected to close in the coming months pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions,” according to a press release.

“The Walman agreement is a defining moment in our strategy of building lab offerings that celebrates customer choice through differentiated service and offerings,” said Rick Gadd, president of Essilor North America. “Because of Walman’s reputation as a reliable and highly valued business partner for the customers they serve, we will offer
more choice and a more complete local lab footprint within our lab network to ensure customers have the option that meets their specific business need.”


EssilorLuxottica released the following list of additional points about the acquisition:

Walman will continue to operate under the Walman brand name and will provide the same high level of service its customers have come to expect. Marty Bassett will continue as President, and the Walman team will drive the commercial identity and customer intimacy that has made the company the success it is today.

The agreement will provide Walman with future growth opportunities by leveraging the global EssilorLuxottica organization and its capabilities.

The pending transaction is a natural progression for Walman’s customers whose patients and communities already benefit from the strong relationship EssilorLuxottica and Walman have had for years.

Walman customers already prescribe Essilor’s industry leading brands including the world’s number one recommended progressive lens brand, Varilux, the number one overall photochromic lens, Transitions Gen 8, and the EyeVote reader’s choice in anti-reflective coating for nine year’s straight, Crizal No-Glare.

Both companies are deeply committed to the cause of Vision. Walman created its Kids With a Vision program, which donates $5 for every pair of digitally surfaced lenses treated with non-glare treatment produced by Walman Optical by participating customers, and has raised more than $185,000 since its inception for the Essilor Vision Foundation.



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