New York – January 22, 2016 – AEA Investors’ (“AEA” or the “Firm”) Middle Market Private Equity team announced today that its fund has closed on an interest in 1-800 Contacts, Inc. (“1-800 Contacts” or the “Company”). 1-800 Contacts is the largest retailer of contact lenses in the U.S.
1-800 Contacts is the leading player in the U.S. contact lens market with unmatched brand awareness and customer advocacy. The Company has built a disruptive platform through a unique value proposition to consumers centered on easy-to-use ordering and delivery, superior customer service and competitive pricing. Building on the management team’s achievements over the past 25 years, 1-800 Contacts is well positioned to further enhance its leading market position through acquisitions and partnership opportunities as well as company-led initiatives to improve retention and enhanced offerings such as online eye-exams and prescriptions renewals.
AEA Investors LP was founded in 1968 by the Rockefeller, Mellon and Harriman family interests and S.G. Warburg & Co. as a private investment vehicle for a select group of industrial family offices with substantial assets. AEA has an extraordinary global network built over many years which includes leading industrial families, business executives and leaders; many of whom invest with AEA as active individual investors (“Participants”) and/or join its portfolio company boards or act in other advisory roles. Today, AEA’s approximately 70 investment professionals operate globally with offices in New York, Connecticut, London, Munich and Shanghai. The firm manages funds that have approximately $10 billion of invested and committed capital including the leveraged buyouts of middle market companies and small business companies and mezzanine and senior debt investments. AEA Private Equity invests across three sectors: value added industrials, consumer, and services.
About 1-800 Contacts, Inc.
1-800 Contacts is the largest retailer of contact lenses in the U.S., and is dedicated to making it easier for consumers to purchase contact lenses. Through its award-winning website (www.1800contacts.com), its easy-to-remember telephone number, and its 5-star mobile app, the Company has served almost 11 million customers, delivering more than 200,000 contact lenses every day. The Company also provides contact lens sourcing and fulfillment services to leading brick-and-mortar retailers.
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Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Jon Keehner, Julie Oakes and Kate Clark
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