Diversified Ophthalmics and Firestone Optics Announce Merger

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CINCINNATI, Ohio— Diversified Ophthalmics, an ophthalmic manufacturer and distributor and Firestone Optics, a contact lens manufacturer and distributor, announced that they have merged, effective Jan. 7, 2013.

The merger is the result of Diversified’s acquisition of Firestone Optics, a Diversified spokesperson told VMail. Upper level management of both companies will share in major business decisions. However, each company anticipates continuing “business as usual” to the ECP community, the spokesperson said.

In a jointly issued statement, the two companies said the merger is intended to “mutually complement and support each company’s dedication to independent eyecare professionals.” Diversified offers a wide range of products and manufactures PMMA and gas permeable contact lenses. Firestone Optics is a specialty contact lens manufacturer. Both companies are authorized distributors of all major brands of soft contact lenses.

“This merger allows a melding of upper level management that will give an efficiency of scale,” said Dr. Ronald F. Cooke, president and CEO of Diversified Ophthalmics. “Our intent is to expand the excellent eyecare products and services now provided by each company so that the clients of both companies are better served.”

Dr. Cooke also noted, “Diversified has a strong consulting team to support both the needs of contact lens fitters as well as issues in the area of office marketing and management and to provide answers about prescribing and fitting digitally produced lenses. The technology of vision care has become exponentially more complicated, and we feel Diversified should play a strong role in helping ECPs make the best use of that technology. At this time we have four licensed optometrists and a number of opticians providing consultation support for our customers.”

Firestone Optics, Inc.’s president, David Rusch, remarked, “Firestone Optics, Inc. and its subsidiary companies, Fused Kontacts and Lens Dynamics, have long focused on assisting independent ECPs in providing exceptional patient care which is entirely in agreement with Diversified’s mission statement. Additionally, Diversified brings many practice enhancing products and services to the Firestone Optics’ practitioners.”

Diversified, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, was established in 1977. The company has been ranked among Vision Monday’s Top 25 Independently Owned Ophthalmic Laboratories for more than a decade.

Diversified and its sister company Mid-South Premier Ophthalmics, have offices and labs in Atlanta, Georgia, Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, S.C., Detroit, Mich., Houston, Texas, Lafayette, La., Memphis, Tenn., Milwaukee, Wis., Nashville, Tenn., New Orleans, La., Spokane, Wash., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

In addition to GP manufacturing and soft lens distribution offered by Diversified and Mid-South, Diversified operates five wholesale optical labs that offer in-house AR. Other products and services offered include frames, ophthalmic equipment and supplies, computer hardware and software for ophthalmic offices (Practice Maximus, which includes a certified electronic medical records program), office supplies, printing and medical books, and a multitude of practice enrichment programs.

Firestone Optics, also established in 1977, operates out of Kansas City, Mo. and also has a branch (Corneal Lens Lab) in Richmond, Va.