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New Look Vision sold to group including CDPQ and private equity firm FFL Partners

·2 min read

MONTREAL — An investor group including the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec has signed an agreement to buy New Look Vision Group Inc. in a deal that values the company at about $800 million.

Under the agreement, the group, which also includes private equity firm FFL Partners and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family, will pay $50 in cash per share for New Look.

"FFL, CDPQ and the Dr. H. Doug Barnes Family, with their industry experience and financial strengths, are the ideal partners to take New Look Vision to the next level of development and success," John Bennett, New Look's chairman and principal shareholder, said in a statement.

The price the investor group is paying represents about a 26 per cent premium over New Look's closing share price on Thursday, when the company announced the deal. Shares in New Look were trading at $49.61 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday morning.

New Look sells prescription and non-prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses. It has a network of 406 stores under several banners including New Look Eyewear, Vogue Optical, Greiche & Scaff, Iris and Edward Beiner.

“We are proud to support New Look Vision – a Quebec leader in the provision of eye care products and services – and bring our constructive capital approach towards helping the business continue to expand both domestically and internationally, guided by its strong entrepreneurial culture,” Kim Thomassin, the Caisse's executive vice-president and head of investments in Quebec and stewardship investing, said in a statement.

The deal, which requires shareholder and other approvals, is expected to close in the first half of this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BCI)

Jon Victor, The Canadian Press