Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings Limited and Golden Gate Capital complete acquisition of Eye Care Centers of America
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (March 2, 2005)– Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings Limited, a world leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and retailing of eyewear, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of a 56% controlling interest in Eye Care Centers of America (ECCA), the second largest optical retail chain in the United States.
ECCA operates 378 stores in 33 states and commands a #1 or #2 share position in its top ten markets.
Golden Gate Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm, acquired 43% of ECCA, with the remaining shares acquired by ECCA management. The agreement to acquire all of ECCA from Thomas H. Lee Partners for $450 million was signed in December of last year and was subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.
Cary Ma, CEO of Moulin, said, “We see extraordinary synergies resulting from the combination of Moulin and ECCA. Moulin’s China cost advantage, supported by its own international design and marketing resources, will further fuel the powerful consumer value proposition already offered by ECCA. The merger allows us to give our customers much more for their eyecare dollar – which has always been the goal of Moulin’s vertical integration strategy. It’s a dynamite value proposition for both eye care consumers and our shareholders.”
ECCA, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, will retain the ECCA name and its current management team, led by chairman and CEO David E. McComas. Effective February 17, Moulin changed its name from Moulin International Holdings Limited to Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings Limited to better reflect its worldwide eyewear operations in more than 70 countries.
ECCA has also entered into a supply agreement with Moulin that provides incentives for ECCA and Moulin to work together more closely but without imposing on ECCA any specific purchase requirements.
J.P. Morgan Securities served as exclusive financial advisor and private equity placement agent to Moulin and JPMorgan Chase Bank provided a commitment of up to $340 million to finance the acquisition and to provide for ongoing working capital needs. White & Case LLP and Allen & Overy served as Moulin’s legal advisors. Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor to Golden Gate Capital.
About Golden Gate Capital
Golden Gate Capital is a San Francisco-based private equity investment firm with approximately $2.6 billion under management. Golden Gate is dedicated to partnering with world class management teams to invest in change-intensive, growth businesses. They target transactions of up to $250M in equity in situations where there is a demonstrable opportunity to significantly enhance a company’s value. The principals of Golden Gate Capital have a long and successful history of investing with management partners across a wide range of industries and transaction types, including leveraged buyouts, recapitalizations, corporate divestitures and spin-offs, build-ups and venture stage investing. For more information, please visit www.goldengatecap.com.
About Eye Care Centers of America, Inc.
With 378 Stores in 33 states, Eye Care Centers of America, Inc. is the second largest retail optical chain in the U.S. The company’s brand names include EyeMasters, Binyon’s, Visionworks, Hour Eyes, Dr. Stein Optical, Vision World, Doctor’s VisionWorks, and Eye DRx. Founded in 1984, the company is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.
About Moulin Global Eyecare Holdings Limited
Moulin is engaged in the design, manufacture, distribution and retailing of quality eyewear products to customers worldwide. Moulin consists of a comprehensive global distribution network operating in over 70 countries worldwide, driven by major market subsidiaries in Europe, the United States and the Asia Pacific region. Moulin is the largest eyewear manufacturer in Asia and the third largest in the world, with production volumes exceeding 15 million frames per year. Founded in 1960, Moulin is headquartered in Hong Kong and is one of the constituent stocks on the Hang Seng Composite Index.