ABB Optical Group Acquires Diversified Ophthalmics and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics

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CORAL SPRINGS, Fla.—ABB Optical Group, a leading distributor of optical products, is acquiring Diversified Ophthalmics, Inc., a privately held company based in Cincinnati, Ohio and its partner company MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics, based in Brentwood, Tenn. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A statement issued by ABB, based here, said, “Combining the complementary geographic operations of Diversified and MidSouth in the central U.S. with the strong logistics network ABB Optical already has along the East and West coasts, the merger represents a good fit of business models as both organizations currently operate across four major core businesses:
• Distribution of a full range of soft contact lenses;
• Manufacturing and distribution of ophthalmic lenses and eyewear;
• GP and custom soft manufacturing; and
• Support of practice management and buying groups (ABB Optical’s Primary Eyecare Network and Diversified’s ECP Network).”

Angel Alvarez, CEO of ABB Optical Group, commented, “This merger represents a tremendous investment we are making not only in the future of optometry, but also in our valued customers. The essence of what ABB is and what ABB stands for will never change. We always have been and continue to be a trusted business partner to eyecare professionals, delivering the best services and programs to help them better serve their patients in an evolving marketplace. This merger allows us to expand our footprint geographically, and that will result in even greater success for our customers and convenience for their patients.”

Ronald F. Cooke, OD, president and CEO of Diversified Ophthalmics, said, “We are thrilled to be joining the ABB family. Together, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to quality and service for independent eyecare professionals by providing innovative programs and services that will energize the eyecare industry. We are excited about the future.”

Customers of ABB Optical Group, Diversified Ophthalmics and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics will experience business as usual, according to ABB’s statement. The company said it has committed to further invest in facilities, inventory, technology and people to enhance overall customer experience and range of offerings.

Since 2012, ABB has been a portfolio company of New Mountain Capital, a New York-based private equity firm. In addition to its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Florida, ABB Optical Group operates a distribution facility in Marshfield, Mass.; a distribution facility and its Digital Eye Lab (DEL) in Hawthorne, N.Y., plus a distribution facility and manufacturing labs for gas permeable and custom soft lenses, as well as its Primary Eyecare Network (PEN), in Alameda, Calif. The company was founded in 1989.

Diversified Ophthalmics describes itself as “a total resource network for eyecare professionals.” The company was founded in Cincinnati in 1977 and has offices and labs in Spokane, Wash., Columbia, S.C., Milwaukee and Houston. MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics got its start in 1976, and with primary facilities in Nashville, Memphis and Atlanta, manages multiple labs and distribution facilities across the south.

Diversified was ranked as the ninth largest independent wholesale lab operator in the U.S. in Vision Monday’s 2016 Top Labs Report, with estimated net sales of $32.8 million and Rx sales of $16.2 million.

ABB’s Digital Eye Lab ranked fourth in VM’s 2016 Top Labs Report, with estimated net sales of $40 million, all of which were generated by Rx sales.

HPC Puckett & Company, headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., represented Diversified Ophthalmics and MidSouth Premier Ophthalmics in the transaction.