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Healthia announces new optical acquisitions

Australian allied health group Healthia – which recently entered the optical arena with a multi-million-dollar acquisition of The Optical Company – has announced two practices will be joining its network.

The ASX-listed firm has agreed to purchase Bernie Lanigan Optometrist, located in Townsville, Queensland, and The Eyecare Place, in Abbotsford, Victoria.

The practices are the first optical acquisitions since the establishment of Healthia’s new Eyes & Ears business division on 30 November, which was initiated by a $43 million takeover of The Optical Company and its 41-store portfolio.

The total consideration for the new acquisitions (plus stock, less employee entitlements) is $620,000, with the practices expected to generate $1.4 million in revenue.

Bernie Lanigan Optometrist was established in 1979. The practice was moved to the busy City Arcade in Townsville CBD in 2016 to offer a more convenient service for patients.

Under the directorship of managing practicing optometrist Ms Belinda Luu and directors Mr Charles Luu and Mr Phillip Luu, The Eyecare Place was established in 2010, and is located in Hive Shopping Centre, a community shopping centre in which is anchored by major retailers.

Prior to the acquisition last year, TOC operated eyewear frame distributor, Australian Eyewear Distributors, 13 Kevin Paisley Optometrists stores, 10 nib Eye Care practices, eight Optical Warehouse stores, six TOC stores, and four Stacey & Stacey Optometrists.

As part of the TOC acquisition in November, TOC founder CEO Mr Colin Kangisser was appointed CEO of Healthia’s Eyes & Ears division and is an executive director of Healthia.

Colin Kangisser.

“For Healthia to bring onboard its first two stores following (TOC) joining in December 2020 is a significant milestone. Ultimately, however, it is not growth just for the sake of growth, as the financial performance; quality of the location; and the people who will join us are amongst the determining factors,” Kangisser said.

“The addition of Bernie Lanigan Optometrist brings our network to 42 stores now and The Eyecare Place will join our network in June. As part of Healthia, we have a mandate to grow the network and invite business owners to get in touch. We are in advanced negotiations for further additions and are confident that we will reach our mandated store growth.”

Kangisser said TOC, as part of Healthia’s Eyes & Ears division, offers an ideal opportunity for owners to put in place an exit strategy to monetise their investment now and have some flexibility about the future.

Options available to owners include immediate exit, phased exit, or Healthia’s Clinic Class Share program where owners retain some interest on exit and continue the journey with Healthia. Following sale, if the owner remains with the business, each location is said to maintain a sense of independence compared to more corporate options and the business will maintain high levels of eyewear and eyecare with the support of a back-office structure.

“We have always considered ourselves like a family, we enjoy what we do and work together to ensure we all continue to feel engaged by our work and deliver great products and services to customers,” Kangisser said.

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