EssilorLuxottica has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. based lab network Walman. Walman, which has been a leading partner to vision care practices around the country for more than 100 years, will draw on EssilorLuxottica’s focus on product and service innovation to create growth opportunities for the company.
The U.S. is the largest optical market in the world but there are still significant opportunities. Both the progressive lens and anti-reflective categories as well as developing solutions like Myopia management require resources to grow in this competitive industry. EssilorLuxottica’s investment in Walman will allow customers to leverage these existing and future opportunities to grow the market.
“Walman is a company we’ve admired as a longtime partner – they share EssilorLuxottica’s customer-first sensibility and our relentless pursuit of higher service standards. They also share our history of employee shareholding, which makes them an ideal cultural fit for our family. Walman has cultivated broad recognition and relationship equity and we will invest in the areas that make them such a great partner to the industry,” commented Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and Deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica.
Walman has a network of 35 facilities across the U.S., including prescription lens-finishing labs and hubs for optical instruments and other vision care products. As part of EssilorLuxottica, Walman will continue to serve the market under the Walman brand, delivering the same customer intimacy, service and solutions their customers have come to expect.
“EssilorLuxottica’s investment in Walman is an important next step for our customers and employees”, said Marty Bassett, President & CEO of Walman. “It was time for Walman to find an investment partner to support its future success. We chose EssilorLuxottica because of our shared values and their proven history of working with independent businesses to accelerate growth while supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and company culture that made each business successful in the first place.”
The transaction is expected to close in the coming months pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.