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Hilco Vision Acquires Reading Glasses Maker

I Need You (INY) is based in Germany.

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Hilco Vision has acquired Hamburg, Germany-based premium ready reader glasses company I Need You (INY).

Founded in 1993, INY is a market leader in the European ophthalmic specialist trade and distributes products to a global customer base in 65 countries and more than 30,000 stores, according to a press release from Windjammer Capital Investors. Hilco is a portfolio company of Windjammer.

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Ross Brownlee, CEO of Hilco, said, “We have continued to build our European footprint since the acquisition of Breitfeld & Schliekert in Germany in 2015. The market-leading I NEED YOU brand of ready readers is synonymous with quality, service, design and breadth of offering. We have a strong admiration for the professionalism and market orientation the Gellermann family has brought to the category since founding the company. We are truly excited to leverage their experience and capabilities as we strive to delight our customers with category leadership in all our product offerings.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In the immediate term, the businesses will operate independently. INY founder Uwe Gellermann and Joint Managing Director Neele Schierholz will continue in their leadership roles with INY as part of Hilco, working in partnership with the Hilco Vision European leadership team of Frank Thiel and Bernd Pigorsch.

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“We are very proud of the products and service levels that have brought recognition and success for I NEED YOU in Germany and throughout Europe,” Gellermann said. “We felt that partnering with Hilco Vision would ensure the brand would continue to grow and find new customers globally.”

Matt Anderson, managing director at Windjammer, added, “We have been quite impressed by the leadership teams of both Hilco Vision and INY as they deliver on their customer value proposition throughout the uncertainty of 2020.  We are proud to partner with Ross and the Hilco Vision team as they expand their product offering and geographic reach with this transaction, and we expect to further support the team’s good work as they press ahead with ambitious organic and acquisition growth endeavors to further expand their best in class service to the eyecare industry.”

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