Ocuco, With Funding from Wells Fargo Tech Finance Unit, Acquires B&F Groep

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Hans Lugtenberg, director of B+F Groep (l) and Leo MacCanna, CEO of Ocuco.
OSS, The Netherlands and DUBLIN, Ireland—Ocuco, Ltd., a leading provider of optical practice and lab software for the global eyecare industry, is entering the Dutch market through the acquisition of B&F Groep, a market leading optical practice management software (PMS) provider in The Netherlands.

The acquisition was financed by Wells Fargo’s Technology Finance unit, which recently announced a new €23 million senior debt facility to provide financing for Ocuco’s further acquisitions, the refinancing of the company’s existing facilities and funding for R&D investment in next generation technologies, the companies said.

With Ocuco’s acquisition, B&F Groep Managing Director Hans Lugtenberg will join Ocuco’s senior management team and will continue to run the B&F Optic subsidiary from his office in Oss. All staff will be retained to continue to develop the Apollo and ApolloCS software for its 400-plus customers, who will also have access to Ocuco’s broader product portfolio. B&F’s non-optical products, which include a suite of digital products and services for beauty salons, will continue to be developed and supplied under the leadership of Patrick Klappe.

Leo MacCanna, Ocuco’s CEO, said, “B&F is a great company. The acquisition further strengthens our position in the European marketplace, and from a management perspective, Hans is a particularly talented guy and we are delighted to have him on our team.”

Lugtenberg commented, “Now B&F Optics is part of Ocuco we can deliver continuity in the long term, developing the best software for our customers. Our four developers are now part of a team of 60, and in cooperation with suppliers of lenses, contact lenses, and optical instruments, we are now able to develop interfaces and innovative new products across multiple optical technologies.”

Ocuco was founded in 1993 by Mac Canna. In 1997 it merged with Clinical Software, an ophthalmology EMR company. In 1997 the product was extended to cover the retail and marketing needs of retail chains and hospitals, and since then Acuitas has been installed in some of the largest chains in the world. In 2008 Ocuco entered the lab management system (LMS) market with the acquisition of Innovations in the U.S. The company has made a series of acquisitions, recently expanding into optical omnichannel software with its partnership with OptiCommerce in the UK and the acquisition of Acumenex in North America, as VMail has reported.

Today, more than 8,750 sites in 43 countries use Ocuco software and services. The company has over 230 staff based in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, England, Wales, France, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Australia, and China.

Of the Wells Fargo arrangement, MacCanna told VMail, “We’ve grown largely through organic growth, with our own cash flow and some bank financing. But this new process with Wells Fargo’s technology unit is on another level, a true milestone for us. Our plan is to continue to grow organically but with the help of a good financing partner. The optical business is an increasingly global market and we feel we are well positioned.”

John Leonard, senior managing director, Wells Fargo Capital Finance, said “We are very pleased to complete such an important financing that will provide Ocuco the financial flexibility to execute upon its strategic business decisions. We are impressed with Leo and his team’s performance and look forward to supporting their continued growth.”