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Australian optometry group acquired in $43 million deal

Australian optometry group The Optical Company (TOC) says it now has a clear mandate to expand its 41-store portfolio after announcing a multi-million-dollar deal to join a major Australasian allied health group.

ASX-listed Healthia Limited Australia has acquired TOC – a 14-year-old vertically integrated optical group specialising in optometry services, retail and eyewear distribution – outright for $43 million.

TOC owns and operates established eyewear frame distributor, Australian Eyewear Distributors (AED), and operates 13 Kevin Paisley Optometrists stores, 10 nib Eye Care practices, eight Optical Warehouse stores, six TOC stores, and four Stacey & Stacey Optometrists.

Colin Kangisser.

The portfolio expands across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, the ACT, and Queensland.

Healthia’s TOC acquisition is expected to be completed on 30 November 2020 and will increase its dedicated allied health divisions across podiatry, physiotherapy and optometry, with the addressable market opportunity of $9.8 billion annually.

Once the transaction is completed, TOC founder CEO Mr Colin Kangisser will be appointed CEO of Healthia’s newly formed Eyes & Ears division and as an executive director of Healthia.

Kangisser is a registered optometrist with more than 30 years’ optometry experience. He has founded multiple optical businesses including Kays Optical and prior to establishing The Optical Company in 2006, held an executive leadership position with OPSM Group

“We are excited to partner with Healthia. We believe there is a strong alignment between our respective businesses and that there exists a significant opportunity to continue our organic and acquisitive growth,” he said.

Mr Wesley Coote, CEO and managing director at Healthia Limited Australia, described TOC as being in strong alignment to Healthia’s strategic objectives.

Kevin Paisley Optometrists in Watergardens, Victoria.

“The opportunity to acquire a highly complementary allied health business of the quality and size of The Optical Company is compelling. The Optical Company is a natural fit with Healthia and its stated strategic objectives of acquiring value accretive businesses in the allied health industries,” Coote said.

“The Optical Company also provides Healthia with the expertise, people, platforms and systems required for continued organic and acquisitive growth in the optometry industry.”

Mr Aaron Kangisser is TOC’s Head of Retail. Having worked across the business for over 10 years, plus a period working in management at Boot’s Opticians in the UK. He told Insight the company was excited by the opportunities in joining Healthia.

Aaron Kangisser.

“TOC together with Healthia has a clear mandate to grow both organically and through acquisitions and this will provide TOC with additional resources to do so,” he said.

“TOC and Healthia have a close alignment as allied health-led businesses and both are underpinned by our people and culture. We look forward to working with Healthia on building the network and continuing to provide great experiences for our people and customers.”

Following the acquisition, Healthia will operate three distinct segments; Feet & Ankles (previously known as the podiatry division), Bodies & Minds (previously known as the physiotherapy division), and newly formed segment, Eyes & Ears.

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