Vision Expo Daily VEE DAY2 - April 1, 2017 : Cover1

SA TURD AY SHOW DAILY APRIL 1, 2017 PUBLISHED BY IN COOPERATION WITH INTERNATIONAL VISION EXPO We are your partner – not your competitor. Visit Booth # LP4011 Innovative Education Drives OD, Buyer Attendance NEW YORK—This year, over 100 hours of free education will take place on the show fl oor in addition to the 320+ hours in the classroom with the profession’s most respected leaders. This year’s education offerings, coupled with thousands of new product launches, have drawn more optometrists and high-end buyers than before. “The people who come to Vision Expo think differently, challenging the status quo,” said Ashley Mills, CEO of The Vision Council. “Third-party research reports that ECPs who at-tend Vision Expo believe the conference is a quality event that keeps them connected to advancements in eyecare, and the best place to source new products and fi nd the latest trends in eyewear.” “It’s with this forward-thinking mentality in mind that Vision Expo delivers unique programs and education that enhance practice profi tability, including the collaboration with Google and Marketing 4ECPs as well as the new Optical Profi t Center,” said Melissa Ashley, senior vice president of Reed Exhibitions. Q Riata Capital Acquires 3 Regionals and Forms Acuity Eyecare Holdings DALLAS—Riata Capital Group, a private equity invest-ment fi rm based here, has announced the formation of Acuity Eyecare Holdings and the simultaneous ac-quisition of three regional eyecare groups: Crown Vi-sion Center of St. Louis, Eyetique of Pittsburgh and In-ternational Eyecare Center of Quincy, Ill. The fi nancial terms of the transactions were not disclosed. Acuity will begin operations with 61 locations across fi ve states and a large, full-service digital lab near St. Louis. Riata said it intends to “expand Acuity into a market-leading eyecare platform through the acquisition of additional regional eyecare groups and independent eyecare professionals,” according to the   announcement. Crown Vision Center was ranked by Vision Mon-day as the 26th largest eyecare group in the U.S. &#0c;&#0b;&#0b;
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 market, and Eyetique ranked 30th in 2016. Interna- 
 tional Eyecare Center serves rural communities in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, accord-ing to the announcement. Acuity is the second “platform investment” in eyecare by some of the Riata principals, who from 2011 to 2015 organized and led the acqui-sition of the Vision Source network. Essilor acquired Vision Source in late 2015, which generated “strong re-turns for its investors.” The new Acuity management team includes chief executive offi cer Matt Matthews, who was formerly chief executive of Crown Vision; Doug Shepard, the former chief fi nancial of-fi cer of Eye Care Centers of America, will hold the same title with Acuity; George Gebhardt, the former chief marketing offi cer of Visionworks, will hold that title with the new entity, and Bret Davis will be vice president of corporate development. Davis is a former senior vice president of business development for Vision Source. Other senior executives from the leadership teams of Crown Vision, Eyetique and International Eye-care also will have roles in the new management team, according to the announcement. Additionally, Acuity has assembled a board of directors consisting of “experienced and very successful executives from the industry that will bring valuable insight as Acuity looks to expand,” according to the announcement. Jeff Fronterhouse, a co-managing Partner of Riata, said, “We understand the pressures, as well as the Continued on page 64  &#0a;&#0b;&#0c;&#0c;

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