Inspecs Group Acquires Norville Group’s Manufacturing Operations

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BATH, England—Inspecs Group plc (LSE: SPEC), a designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames to independent and global retail chains, announced that it has completed the acquisition of the manufacturing operations of The Norville Group Ltd from the administrator, BDO LLP, for £2.4 million in cash. The acquisition includes £1.2m of freehold property for Norville's Gloucester site and the remainder for stock, plant, IP and contracts. VMAIL reported last week that The Norville Group was insolvent and was in administration.

Norville is a long-established spectacle lens manufacturer, supplying optical retailers with complete spectacles, including well-known brands, and is considered to have the most advanced portfolio of spectacle lenses in the U.K. Inspecs said it intends to retain part of Norville's management team and employees as part of the acquisition.

Robin Totterman, CEO of Inspecs, said, "I am delighted to announce our first acquisition as a plc, in line with our stated strategy at IPO, and there is no doubt that Norville is an excellent fit for the Group. With Savile Row (Algha) and Norville, we have combined the two oldest and most respected British optical brands—frame maker with lens maker. With Inspecs' global frame manufacturing, marketing and sale capabilities, we are continuing to grow our vertically integrated business model.

“We are also taking this opportunity to integrate our two U.K. manufacturing sites, and soon we will offer a bespoke Savile Row lens collection to accompany the frames. Our plan is to similarly offer our many licensed brands with high quality bespoke lens packages.

"The acquisition cements Inspecs' position as the only vertically integrated designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames and lenses in the U.K. and provides the Group with a full lens offering domestically and globally. We look forward to welcoming the Norville team into the heart of the Inspecs Group and working together to create a truly cutting edge integrated eyewear business."

Norville's management accounts for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019 show unaudited revenue of £11.8 million, a loss before tax of £0.79 million and EBITDA of £0.39 million, according to Inspecs Group. The net book value of the assets acquired was £4.9 million including the freehold property. The acquisition is being funded from the Group's existing cash resources. Inspecs Group said it expects the Norville acquisition will enhance its earnings for 2021.

Inspecs Group is a vertically integrated frame manufacturer that produces branded and private label optical frames and sunglasses. The Group is headquartered in Bath, England and operates manufacturing plants in China and Vietnam.