KKR to buy US optical company National Vision for reported $1 bn plus

US private equity firm KKR & Co yesterday agreed to buy National Vision Inc, the fourth-largest optical company in the US, from Berkshire Partners for an undisclosed sum.

KKR & Co did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but several media reports said that the transaction was finalised at more than $1 billion.

National Vision was taken private in 2005 by Boston-based Berkshire Partners in a deal valued at about $190 million.

National Vision later acquired Consolidation Vision for $88 million, EyeGlass World and discount retailer America's Best for an undisclosed amount.

Georgia-based National Vision operates over 700 retail stores in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Georgia-based company employs over 6,000 people and its retail divisions include America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses, Eyeglass World, Vision Centers inside select Wal-Mart stores, Vista Optical inside Fred Meyer stores and Optical Centers on select US military bases.

National Vision has plans to open over 40 new locations annually.

Credit-rating firm Moody's Investors Service had in an August report said that National Vision had sales of $778 million for the year ended 30 June 2013.