CVC Capital Partners to Acquire Synsam Nordic Group in Scandinavia

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STOCKHOLM and LONDON—Funds advised by CVC Capital Partners (CVC) announced yesterday the successful acquisition of Synsam Nordic A/S, the leading optical retailer in the Nordic region, from Alipes AB and former store owners. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Synsam is the largest optical retail chain in the Nordic region with more than 420 own stores and franchisees in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Synsam offers a wide quality assortment of spectacles, contact lenses, sunglasses, accessories and eye examinations. The company's stores in Sweden and Norway operate under the Synsam brand and the stores in Denmark operate under the Profil Optik brand. In Finland, Synsam is represented through a cooperation agreement with a Finnish optical retail chain, operating under the Synsam brand. In 2013, Synsam reported revenues of approximately SEK 3 billion and had some 2,600 employees.

Gunnar Selving and Richard Silén, partners at Alipes: "Synsam is our oldest portfolio company (2007) and we are proud of having worked together with former store owners and an excellent management team to develop it from a voluntary retail chain to the leading integrated optical retail chain in the Nordic. We wish Synsam and all of its employees continued success as they continue to grow under their new owners, CVC."

Joakim Forsell, CEO of Synsam, said, "With its retail focus, Alipes has been a solid and long term owner and a dedicated partner to the management in the transactions and acquisitions we have made during our Nordic journey. I really look forward to continue to develop Synsam in close cooperation with CVC. CVC has an excellent track record of making long-term, value-creating investments in its portfolio companies and has extensive experience within retail. Our common objective is to continue to grow the company, both organically and through acquisitions, as we have done in recent years, as well as to further develop and improve our customers offerings."

In a joint statement, Peter Tornquist and Soren Vestergaard-Poulsen, partners at CVC, commented, "Synsam is a successful company which has been transformed into an integrated retail chain. With attractive market positions, a strong brand name and an extensive store network as well as an emerging online offering, Synsam is now ready to take the next step in its development. We look forward to working closely with Synsam's management in the coming years to support this development and to realize the company's long term potential as a leading modern optical retailer."

Synsam's history stretches back to 1968 when independent opticians in Sweden joined forces under a common brand name. Alipes identified significant development opportunities within the fragmented Nordic optical market and during the years 2007 to 2009 performed, together with former store owners, over 200 individual acquisitions of Synsam and Profil Optik stores in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

The completion of the transaction is subject to customary competition clearances.

Alipes AB is an investment company which invests in the Nordic retail and consumer sector and is owned by Inter IKEA Investments and Ikano. CVC was advised by Access Partners, Roschier, Freshfields, KPMG, Quartz, BCG and AON. Financing was led by Nordea.