Permira takes 49 per cent stake in German spectacle maker

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Pan-European buy-out firm Permira has taken a 49 per cent stake in German spectacle maker Rodenstock. The investment is a prelude to the firm going public and is designed to help the group expand internationally.

The financial details of the transaction have been withheld.

‘Taking on board a financial investor represents an important intermediate step of the Rodenstock Group towards going public, a step which has been thought about for quite some time,’ said Ranolf Rodenstock, chief executive of the firm’s management board.

‘Together with Permira we will have the financial strengths for further growth and innovation which will benefit our distribution partners in consumer optics as well as their customers,’ he said.

Rodenstock managed to withstand a downturn in the consumer optics market in 2002 by growing sales by three per cent to E380m.

Evelyn Ehlert, a partner at Permira in Germany, explained the logic of the deal saying: ‘We are very confident that the potential of Rodenstock’s strong brand will also secure further strategic market share internationally.’

Permira is currently marketing a new buy-out fund with a target of E4.5bn.

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