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Berkshire Partners exits National Vision with KKR sale

7 Feb 2014

Boston-based investment firm Berkshire Partners is to exit US optical retailer National Vision to global private equity firm KKR.

Financial details were not disclosed, though previous reports said the deal could fetch as much as $1bn.

The company operates over 750 outlets across the US, including America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses and Eyeglass World free-standing concepts and vision centers inside Walmart, Fred Meyer and on US Military bases. It also sells its products through 25 consumer-facing websites.

“National Vision has a bright future ahead of it, and we are excited to partner with this proven management team on its next chapter of growth. Through its broad store base and leading e-commerce platform, the company is poised to benefit from the growth in this highly attractive value segment of the optical industry. As National Vision continues to grow, we also look forward to supporting its important social mission,” Nate Taylor, KKR, said.

NVI has been a strategic partner of VisionSpring, supporting its efforts to target low-income individuals in El Salvador, India and Bangladesh.

KKR is making the investment from its North American XI private equity fund, with the management team of NVI is expected to remain a significant investor in the business.

Berkshire Partners is currently investing from Berkshire Fund VIII, a $4.5bn fund raised in 2011.

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