Apax Partners is nearing a deal to acquire German eyeglass-lens maker Rodenstock Group, people with knowledge of the matter said. The private equity firm is set to announce the purchase of Rodenstock from Compass Partners as soon as Wednesday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. The transaction could value Rodenstock at about 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) including debt, according to the people.

Rodenstock is betting on a trend for costlier individualized eyewear, saying it’s the first company to measure the shape and size of each of a person’s eyes to tailor their lenses. Founded in 1877, Munich-based Rodenstock employs around 4,900 people and its products are sold in more than 85 countries.

The company has been a favorite among private equity firms during its recent history. Permira invested in the business in 2003 before it was later sold to Bridgepoint and then Compass.


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Source: BNN Bloomberg

By Eyk Henning