Essilor Acquires Majority Interest in Midland Optical


CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France--Essilor 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.


Matt Iovaldi

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 Illinois.

Midland Optical will retain its current executive team, headed by Matt Iovaldi, president.

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.