New Look Vision Group Enters U.S. Optical Retail With Acquisition of Edward Beiner Company in Florida

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MONTREAL, Quebec--Marking its entry into the U.S., New Look Vision Group Inc. (TSX: BCI) Canada’s largest optical company, announced earlier this morning that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Miami-based Coco Lunette Holding, LLC which carries on business principally under the Edward Beiner banner. Known for its unique and original designer eyewear, over the years under the direction of Edward Beiner and Guido Balocco, the Edward Beiner Company has built a strong presence in key premium markets across 12 locations in Florida, including Miami, Aventura, Boca Raton, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, Naples, Orlando and Palm Beach. Its current annualized revenues are $15.5 million Cdn and it will continue to operate as a stand-alone unit within the New Look Vision Group, the announcement said. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The transaction is the first time a Canadian retail optical company has acquired an eyewear retailer in the United States, further cementing New Look Vision’s position as the leader in the eyecare industry in Canada. Antoine Amiel, president and CEO of New Look Vision stated, “This is a significant strategic step forward for New Look Vision with our first participation in the U.S. retail optical market through the acquisition of a high quality, established and promising business in the large and growing Florida market. A relationship of trust built over many years has today evolved into a common endeavour. Both groups share values of hard work, integrity, a passion for retail optical and a dedication to quality eyecare. We feel privileged to welcome Edward and his team into our organization. The transaction will be a major step forward for both organizations.”

Amiel told VMAIL, "A golden rule of ours is to never go anywhere without a great partner. We pick the best people and let them run the business. We are thrilled to have Ed and his exceptional stores within our group."

Edward Beiner, CEO of Edward Beiner Company, added: “It is an enormous privilege for me and the Edward Beiner group to become New Look Vision’s first entry into the U.S. market. In joining New Look Vision we become part of a highly successful organization that will provide us with the support required to accelerate our growth, in Florida and throughout the U.S. Antoine and I share the same philosophy and vision about the U.S. market and we are both confident that together we will achieve very positive results. In many ways, this union revives my long-standing association with Canada, where I attended school and began my optical career. As such, I am thrilled to rejoin many of my Canadian alumni, many of whom are part of New Look Vision and look forward to contributing to the overall success of our collective effort.”

"We are doing this with incredible enthusiasm," Beiner told VMAIL. "With New Look as a partner, it gives us many options in the U.S. we didn't have before. They have a good, long term vision and also see the opportunity for the luxury high-end market in the U.S."

The combined entity will have a store network consisting of 390 locations, reinforcing New Look Vision’s position as the largest Canadian retail optical company and as a growing player in North America overall. As of October 31, 2019, New Look Vision had 15,644,819 Class A common shares issued and outstanding. New Look Vision is a leader in the eyecare industry in Canada with a network of 378 stores operating mainly under the New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, IRIS and various Luxury banners and laboratory facilities using state-of-the-art technologies.

The acquisition of Edward Beiner is expected to close on or about January 2, 2020 and is subject to customary closing conditions.