Successful Bids Entered at Auction of Optical Practices in Bankruptcy of MacKeyser Holdings/American Optical Services

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WILMINGTON, Del.—All but three of the 21 locations up for auction during the bankruptcy proceedings of MacKeyser Holdings and its subsidiaries (which include American Optical Services) were successfully bid on during the auction held earlier this week on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. All successful bids are pending approval by the bankruptcy judge. “The next hearing before the Bankruptcy Court will be held September 3, at which time the Court will consider approval of the successful bids,” MacKeyser counsel, David R. Hurst of Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard, P.A., told VMail.

Wisconsin Vision, Inc. was the successful bidder on eight The Eye Gallery locations in Georgia and Florida; two The Artful Eye locations, one in Atlanta and the other in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; one Optiview Vision location in Indianapolis, Ind.; and one Optiview Vision and Hearing location in Anderson, Ind.

Darren Horndasch, president and CEO of Wisconsin Vision, Inc., which currently owns and/or owns and operates 35 locations in the Midwest (Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois) under the Wisconsin Vision and Eye Boutique brands, told VMail that his company had already planned to take over the lease of the Optiview locations in Indiana when the bankruptcy occurred. “So we started asking questions about the other available locations,” he said, “looking for tightly grouped stores.” This led the company to perform its due diligence on The Eye Gallery and The Artful Eye locations that it eventually bid on successfully. “This provides us with the opportunity for expansion, a way to grow the company at a reasonable price,” Horndasch told VMail as his reason for bidding on these locations.

The Eye Gallery and The Artful Eye locations continue operating under the auspices of MacKeyser/American Optical Services until the approval and purchase process is complete. The Optiview locations in Indiana ceased operating on July 1, 2014, and will be turned over to Wisconsin Vision upon approval and completion of the purchase process.

The other successful bidders are DaVinci Equity Group, which won the bid on two Optiview Vision locations in Ohio; DaVinci and Dr. Milton Meyers, the successful bidder on two River Front Optical and Hearing locations in Michigan; Dr. Joseph Kurstin, who won the bid on the Miami Laser Eye Center in Miami; and Dr. Larry R. Moorman, the successful bidder on Tifton Ophthalmology in Tifton, Ga.

The assets of one remaining practice that was not successfully bid on during this week’s auction, Optiview Vision and Hearing, in Pontiac, Mich., will be auctioned by Tiger Remarketing Services, which previously auctioned “certain furniture, fixtures and equipment and inventory” earlier in these bankruptcy proceedings from 12 MacKeyser-owned optical offices nationwide, as previously reported by VMail. The remaining two locations, Wabash Valley Eye Center Vincennes and Wabash Valley Eye Center Washington, both in Indiana, “are being sold pursuant to our miscellaneous sale procedures,” MacKeyser counsel, David Hurst told VMail.

MacKeyser and its subsidiaries, which include American Optical Services (AOS) and a number of other optical businesses the company had previously acquired, filed for bankruptcy in June 2014, soon after Thomas Allison was named CEO following the termination of the company’s former CEO, Pierre Keyser, and former COO, Erica Perreira, amidst a “liquidity crisis” and “accounting irregularities.”