LOS ANGELES—Nvision Eye Centers, one of the larger providers of comprehensive eyecare, LASIK and cataract surgery services in the U.S., has acquired a majority interest in East West Eye Institute (EWEI), one of the largest independent eyecare platforms in California, according to an announcement by the investment banking firm Intrepid. Intrepid said its health care group acted as an advisor to East West Eye Institute. The transaction follows EWEI’s acquisition of several leading Southern California ophthalmology practices. The terms of the deals were not disclosed.

This transaction allows Nvision, with a combined 70 practice and ASC locations across five states (California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Arizona) to broaden its existing operations within the attractive Los Angeles market. Dr. Alex Liu will be promoted to the role of chief executive officer of the EWEI-subsidiary to facilitate EWEI’s integration and to continue driving Nvision’s growth in the Los Angeles market, the announcement noted.

Nvision, which is based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., is an innovative leader in ophthalmology and is backed by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, as VMAIL reported late last year. The Pension Plan acquired a majority stake in Nvision at the time.

EWEI’s seven clinics, two state-of-the-art surgery centers, aesthetic center and clinical research division are strategically located across Los Angeles, with more than 35 practice partners, associates or affiliated community physicians providing more than 70,000 clinic visits per year, according to the announcement.

Since its founder Dr. George Kambara began serving the Japanese-American community in 1947, the organization has been deeply connected to its local communities. Under the stewardship of chief executive officer Dr. Fred Kurata, since 1984, EWEI has diversified into one of the region’s largest and most comprehensive eyecare providers, the announcement noted.
Its managed services organization, Premiere Practice Management, led by its chief financial officer Naomi Nakagama, has completed 17 acquisitions or practice mergers.
Dr. Kurata said, “We are thrilled to become part of the Nvision family. This combination is highly complementary given our combined focus on outstanding patient care, geographic footprint and service offerings which will enable Nvision and EWEI to better serve the community.”
He added, “Amid a challenging COVID environment, Intrepid’s Healthcare Group orchestrated a well-run [deal] process to help us secure an ideal strategic partner that will help EWEI grow for years to come.”
“The EWEI clinical and operational leadership team did an outstanding job establishing EWEI as one of the largest and most respected practices in Southern California,” said Adam Abramowitz, managing director and co-head of health care at Intrepid. “The EWEI team demonstrated a proven model to acquire, onboard and integrate ophthalmology practices across Southern California. I’m excited to track their growth, which will accelerate with Nvision’s leadership and support.”