Hardy Capital Acquires LD Vision Group, Owner of Three Online Contact Lens Sites

By


VANCOUVER, British Columbia—Hardy Capital, a Canadian investment firm with experience in the online eyewear market via Roger Hardy, founder of the former Coastal.com business, said Wednesday that it has completed the acquisition of LD Vision Group. LD Vision owns three online contact lens sites, OptiContacts.com, LensDiscounters.com and ContactsExpress.ca. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Hardy Capital’s Roger Hardy told VMAIL that LD Vision is “quite a material business.” The company was founded in 2002 and was one of the first discount online contact lens sellers, and reached Canadian $50 million in sales last year, the announcement noted.

Hardy, chief executive of Hardy Capital, was a founder of a pioneering brand in omnichannel eyecare, Coastal.com. Coastal.com, owner of Clearly.ca and Lensway.se, grew steadily to more than $1 billion in aggregate eyewear sales across 120 countries and was listed on the NASDAQ before being acquired by Essilor in 2014 for roughly Canadian $450 million, the announcement noted.

Among the investments in its portfolio, Hardy Capital also is an investor in Privé Revaux, an online eyewear retailer with ties to several celebrities. The investment firm characterized this 2018 investment as “a seed-stage investment in [a] millennial hyper-growth brand.”

According to Hardy Capital’s statement this week, LD Vision is North America’s second-largest independent direct retailer in eyecare ("independent" meaning no outside investors, Hardy told VMAIL). LD Vision, which operates from a proprietary end-to-end technology platform, manages a family of brands that has delivered 2.7 million orders to more than 1.1 million active customers.

Upon the closing of the deal, Sabrina Liak, a former Goldman Sachs partner, will assume the role of chief financial officer at LD Vision, and Joseph Thompson, who has worked for both Amazon and Procter & Gamble, assumes the role of chief marketing officer.

Arshil Abdulla, a founder of LD Vision, assumes the role of president, and continuing in their roles with LD Vision are his brother Fayaz Abdulla and Sean Mitha, according to the announcement.

“More than 70 percent of North American adults have corrective vision needs, yet the eyecare industry continues to be plagued by high costs, low convenience and inconsistent customer service,” Roger Hardy said in the announcement. “Arshil Abdulla, Fayaz Abdulla and Sean Mitha are leaders in North America in technology, automation and customer service in the category. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them to build a new platform for customers.”

Arshil Abdulla said the team at LD Vision is “excited to take this next step in the company’s journey.” He added, “We believe the optical market is preparing for a shift that will reshape the industry and partnering with the Hardy Capital team prepares us for this large and growing secular opportunity.”

Hardy Capital said it expects to announce “broader expansion plans into the eyewear industry in the months ahead.” Hardy told VMAIL that he sees opportunity to expand in both product and geography, but declined to provide additional details.

Canaccord Genuity Petsky Prunier, with a team led by John Fang, served as the exclusive financial advisor to LD Vision Group in this transaction. Fang also has advised 1-800Contacts, IRIS/New Look Vision, ODG/ABB, VisionDirect.UK and Allied Vision Group, among others.