of America has acquired a majority interest in Midland Optical, a
prescription wholesale laboratory headquartered in St. Louis, Mo.
The lab joins Essilor's network of wholesale labs, the largest in
the U.S. As a result of the acquisition, Essilor will strengthen
its presence in the north-central U.S.
An authorized distributor of Varilux
brand products, Midland Optical generates $16.5 million in sales
and employs 150 people.
Midland was ranked eighth in Vision
Monday's Top Labs 2004 report. The lab, founded in 1945, serves
independent eyecare professionals located primarily in Missouri and
Midland Optical will retain its
current executive team, headed by Matt Iovaldi,
Midland Optical produces about 1,490
Rx jobs per day, about 25 percent of which are uncut lenses. Its
key markets are Colo., Ill., Ky., Mich., Mo., Wisc. The company
distributes a range of premium lens brands, including Varilux,
Crizal, AO-SOLA, Teflon, Kodak, Shamir, Zeiss. It offers dispenser
training and ABO review courses, has DVI remote order entry and
tracing, in-house Endura anti-reflective coating and customized
sales incentive and marketing programs.