The Eschenbach Group of Nuremberg has acquired U.S. based eyewear player Tura. Tura has been active on both the U.S. and Canadian markets for more than 70 years as one of the top providers of eyeglass frames and sunglasses. Eschenbach has been marketing its frames and sunglasses in the United States since 2001 through its subsidiary BBH Eyewear Inc.. The addition of the Eschenbach collections to the Tura brand portfolio is expected to significantly strengthen joint sales of all product lines and accelerate growth at Tura, which will continue to operate as an autonomous company. Tura President John Weir and the current executive management team will remain unchanged, as will Tura’s sales network, distribution structure and support staff. The Eschenbach Group subsidiary, Eschenbach Optik of America, has advanced since 1983 to become the market leader for optical and electronic low vision products and will continue this focus in the United States. Barclays Private Equity has been supporting the Eschenbach Groups rigorous growth strategy since 2007 as a private equity investor. Confidentiality has been agreed as to the purchase price.
Founded in New York in 1938, Tura provides the U.S. and Canadian eyewear markets (a strong focus on the independent opticians, optometrists & ophthalmologists) with highquality frames and sunglasses. In addition to its own popular brands, such as Tura and Turaflex, the company also sells the Ted Baker, Lulu Guinness, Tourneau and Goldfinch brands under license. With its outstanding distribution network in the U.S. market and its successful management team, Tura is ideally positioned to implement the jointly defined growth strategy. Tura will prosper from the distribution of the TITANflex, Humphrey´s, Brendel, Marc O’Polo and Bogner Eyes collections that Eschenbach has been marketing in the United States.
This means that the Nuremberg-based Eschenbach Group will generate annual sales of just under $210 million dollars (USD) in 2010 with its high-quality eyeglass frames, sunglasses, vision aids, consumer optics and technical optics. The corporate group has developed at an above-average pace since Barclays Private Equity acquired a majority stake in Eschenbach in 2007.
“Following the acquisition of International Eyewear in the United Kingdom in 2008, our merger with Tura marks a major milestone on the road towards establishing a global presence in the eyewear market, over and above the growth opportunities offered by the American market,” explains Wolfgang Rebstock, Chief Executive Officer at Eschenbach Group.
Peter Schwind, head of the Eyewear Division at Eschenbach, adds:
“In acquiring Tura, we intend to more firmly anchor our product portfolio in North America, and further broaden the importance of our brands. Recent talks indicate that Eschenbach has thus additionally positioned itself as a candidate for international brand licenses.”
Tura President John Weir views the merger with Eschenbach as a tremendous opportunity for both companies.
“With the Eschenbach Group, we have found a partner who will support Tura’s independence over the long term. Together, we’ll be working to continue to tap into the enormous potential offered by the U.S. market.”
“We are delighted that we have once again been able to bring two companies together that complement each other so ideally. Two years ago, we set out at Eschenbach to work together with its management to support the Group’s strategic growth on a sustained basis. With two add-ons within merely two years, we are already very close to achieving that goal,” notes Michael H. Bork, Managing Director of Barclays Private Equity Germany.