Equistone has sold Eschenbach to Inspecs
Eschenbach is a German leader in eyewear and low-vision products, offering correction frames and ready-to-wear sunglasses under more than 15 in-house and licensed brands. Since the end of 2019, Eschenbach has become a leader in the German market for frames across all price segments according to Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung. Eschenbach has extensive market reach through its established presence in Europe and North America, generating worldwide revenue of Euro 143 million in 2019. Together, Inspecs and Eschenbach will form one of the largest eyewear companies in the world.
Through the acquisition of Eschenbach, Inspecs instantly expands its presence internationally benefitting from highly complementary brand portfolios, customer bases and distribution channels in major global markets. Eschenbach will benefit from the production capabilities of Inspecs in South East Asia, supporting expected cost synergies for the combined group.
Lincoln International acted as the exclusive mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisor to the sellers in this transaction, leading the process throughout all deal stages including, careful selection and customized approaches of potential bidders based on tailor-made rationales, working closely with the management team in preparing the business for sale as well as negotiation of price and commercial terms. Lincoln International achieved an outstanding result for the sellers, despite most of the process taking place under the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Equistone (then Barclays Private Equity) acquired Eschenbach from the founding family and a financial investor in July 2007, together with the company’s management team. During this ownership period, the company completed a strategic sale of its technical optics division in 2014 as well as made two important acquisitions: British eyewear business International Eyewear Limited in 2008 and U.S.-based eyewear brand Tura in 2009.
Dr. Marc Arens, Partner at Equistone, commented, “Joining forces with Inspecs will provide Eschenbach with an additional boost of momentum to reliably strengthen its global market position and to write a new chapter of its success story.”
Inspecs, founded in 1988 by Robin Totterman, Chief Executive Officer, is a UK-based designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear. It produces a broad range of frames including, optical, sunglasses and safety. The combination with Eschenbach is part of the acquisition-driven growth strategy communicated at the time of Inspecs’ IPO in early 2020. Inspecs’ shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange (AIM).
We thank the Lincoln International team for making this deal happen through invaluable strategic and tactical advice in combination with relentless effort and support throughout the entire process.
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