Fenway Partners Exits 1800CONTACTS

Fenway Partners Exits 1800CONTACTS

Fenway Partners today announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell 1800CONTACTS to WellPoint (NYSE: WLP). The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of our investment in 1800CONTACTS. Fenway’s experience with this company is an instructive example of private equity partnering with management to create a better business – growing revenues, increasing domestic employment and payrolls, improving the customer value proposition and making significant investments in the future. We are delighted to have made such a positive impact on this company and that our Fenway Partners Fund investors will realize an attractive rate of return and an impressive multiple of capital,” said Peter Lamm, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fenway Partners.

1800Contacts is a direct-to-consumer independent retailer of contact lenses. The company is based in Draper, UT (www.1800contacts.com).

“We have enjoyed partnering with Jonathan Coon, Brian Bethers and the talented 1800CONTACTS team, and are proud of the role we have played in this outstanding company’s growth and development over the last five years. Since Fenway acquired the company in 2007, 1800CONTACTS has experienced strong growth and achieved exceptional financial and operational performance. Recent initiatives such as launching a mobile app and entering the eyewear market with Glasses.com have ensured that 1800 CONTACTS remains at the forefront of innovation. With the opportunities presented by its new partnership with WellPoint, we believe that 1800CONTACTS is poised to continue to grow and further strengthen its industry-leading franchise,” said Timothy Mayhew, Managing Director of Fenway Consulting Partners and Chairman of 1800CONTACTS.

Fenway Partners is a middle market private equity firm based in New York with approximately $1.6 billion under management. The branded consumer product industry is a sector of particular interest to the firm. Fenway makes control investments in businesses with $100 million to $600 million in enterprise value and $15 million to $75 million in EBITDA. Equity investments generally range from $50 million to $75 million (www.fenwaypartners.com).

Sonenshine Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor and Ropes & Gray served as legal advisor on this transaction.

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