- Germany’s fifth largest optician and hearing care chain taps new growth opportunities with a long-term investor
- Argos Wityu plans to strengthen aktivoptik’s presence by expanding its store network and selective add-on acquisitions
- Continuity in management, owner family remains committed to the company in the long term
Bad Kreuznach/Frankfurt am Main, August 27, 2018 – The independent pan-European investment company Argos Wityu has acquired a majority stake in German aktivoptik Group (aktivoptik) as part of a succession plan via its Fund VII. This was announced today by both companies. With a network of 76 stores, most of them in hypermarkets and other highly frequented locations, and sales of around 50 million Euros (as of 2017) the medium-sized family company is Germany’s fifth-largest optician and hearing care chain. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price or other details of the transaction. The transaction is still subject to approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.
After almost 30 years of dynamic growth of aktivoptik, the founding family wants to pave the way for an orderly transition which at the same time will drive future growth of the company. Together, the family, the new majority shareholder and the existing management want to achieve this goal by opening new branches and tapping new growth opportunities through selective add-on-acquisitions. The founder and former majority shareholder Rolf Schneider (68) will retain a stake of around 25 percent in the company and will continue his activities as CEO to ensure continuity until a suitable successor has been found. In addition, he will retain close ties to the company in the long term and closely accompany its strategic development as a member of the newly established advisory board.
The first aktivoptik store was opened in 1989. Since then, the company has grown into one of the leading optician and hearing care chains in Germany with 63 own stores, including four premium stores, and 13 franchise stores. Most of the stores are located in hypermarkets, which facilitates a high customer frequency and regular customer contact. The success of the company is based not only on the convincing price-performance ratio but also on the excellent quality of the products and services sold as well as a distinctive, family-like corporate culture.
Frank Hermann, partner and head of the DACH region of Argos Wityu, said: “Our investment in aktivoptik underlines the profile of Argos Wityu as a reliable partner for succession plans in medium-sized businesses, drawing upon decades of experience throughout Europe. aktivoptik is an economically healthy and successful company with great further growth potential. Together with Rolf Schneider we will focus on continuity and the preservation of the distinctive corporate culture to continue aktivoptik’s successful development of the past 30 years into the future”.
Rolf Schneider, CEO and founder of aktivoptik Group, said: “I look forward to taking an active role in shaping the transition to the new majority owner in the coming years. Argos Wityu’s commitment to continuity, the commitment to our headquarters in Bad Kreuznach, our established customer relations, and the high quality standards of aktivoptik were decisive for my decision to hand over my entrepreneurial life’s work to Argos Wityu instead of one of the big competitors who were also interested in acquiring aktivoptik”.