Essilor buys VC-backed Vision Direct

Essilor, a French producer of ophthalmic lenses, bought Vision Direct Group, an online contact lens retailer backed by Octopus Ventures. Financial terms were not disclosed. This is the second significant exit for Octopus in 2016.


Charenton-le-Pont, France (February 23, 2016 – 5:40 p.m.) – In Europe, Essilor International has strengthened its online optical products retailing business with the acquisition of Vision Direct Group Ltd, one of Europe’s leading online contact lens retailers, with revenue of around £33 million in 2015. Vision Direct does a majority of its business in the UK and Ireland, but is also active in several other European countries and enjoys a reputation for excellent customer service. This move further strengthens Essilor International’s current positions in online optical retail in Europe, by complementing existing activities in the Nordic countries. Vision Direct’s existing management team will remain in place, and will leverage Essilor International’s knowhow to continue growing the Vision Direct business, by broadening its optical products offering and further expanding its geographic footprint.

About Essilor

The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its mission is to improve lives by improving sight. To support this mission, Essilor allocates more than €200 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Its flagship brands are Varilux® , Crizal® , Transitions® , EyezenTM, Xperio® , Foster Grant® , BolonTM and Costa® . It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals. Essilor reported consolidated revenue of more than €6.7 billion in 2015 and employs 61,000 people worldwide. It markets its products in more than 100 countries and has 32 plants, 490 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as 5 research and development centers around the world. For more information, please visit The Essilor share trades on the Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices. Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP