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U.S. Vision Parent Firm Acquired; Optical Lab Sold to Zeiss

Lincoln Road Advisors bought the company.

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BLACKWOOD, NJ — Refac Holdings Inc., parent of U.S. Vision, announced Wednesday that it has been acquired by Lincoln Road Advisors Inc., a private equity group based in Miami.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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“Refac Holdings is the parent company of US Vision, a leading optical retailer with over 50 years of experience in the optical industry,” said Eric J. Bertrand, CEO of Lincoln Road Advisors. “I had the privilege to acquire the company as general partner of a private equity fund in the mid-2000s and I am humbled to have the opportunity to be involved with the company again. I look forward to working with the company’s great host partners, resilient management team and experienced retail staff to grow the company for the future.”

Jennifer Andrews, chief financial officer of Refac, said: “The management team of Refac Holdings is excited about the opportunity to partner with a new ownership group. We are eager to move forward with our business and the growth potential that lies ahead.”

U.S. Vision has 373 optical retail locations in 44 states in such host brands as JC Penney, Meijer, Boscov’s and AAFES military locations, providing eyecare services and products to over 300,000 customers per year. U.S. Vision stores offer eye exams through partnerships with independent optometrists.

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Also Wednesday, San Diego-based ZEISS Vision Care announced the acquisition of U.S. Vision’s optical laboratory in Blackwood, NJ. The 72,000-square-foot facility joins the ZEISS network in the Americas. As part of the transaction, ZEISS has hired 150 former U.S. Vision employees.

ZEISS will use the production location as a base for future expansion.

“We are excited to add 150 passionate, hard-working and dedicated employees to our global Team ZEISS,” said Jens Boy, president of ZEISS Vision Care, North America. “U.S. Vision and ZEISS have been working together for many years. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership and to servicing U.S. Vision’s customers as part of a long-term supply agreement. In addition, the location and production capacity of the facility offer many exciting options. Thanks to our market share gains over the last several years, this transaction is a perfect fit for our strategy of continued and sustainable growth.”

“Partnering with ZEISS in this transaction has resulted in a more solid financial footing for U.S. Vision” said Eric J. Bertrand, CEO of U.S. Vision. “By entering into the agreement with ZEISS for manufacturing, U.S. Vision is able to focus exclusively on driving growth in its retail operations.”

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