Inspecs buys manufacturing side of collapsed glasses firm Norville
Eyewear frame designer, manufacturer and distributor Inspecs Group has acquired the manufacturing operations of the Norville Group, it announced on Tuesday, from the administrator, BDO, for total cash of £2.4m.
The AIM-traded firm said the acquisition included £1.2m of freehold property for Norville's Gloucester site, with the remainder for stock, plant, intellectual property and contracts.
It described Norville as a “long-established” manufacturer of “optically-advanced” spectacle lenses, supplying optical retailers with complete spectacles, adding that it was considered to have “the most advanced” portfolio of spectacle lenses in the UK.
The manufacturing operations are mainly based at its head office in Gloucester, with smaller operations in Bolton, Seaham and Livingston.
Inspecs intends to retain part of Norville's management team and employees as part of the acquisition.
Norville's accounts for the year ended 31 December showed unaudited revenue of £11.8m, a loss before tax of £0.79m and EBITDA of £0.39m.
The net book value of the assets acquired was £4.9m, the board said, including the freehold property.
It added that the acquisition was being funded from its existing cash resources, with the acquisition expected to be earnings-enhancing for the group in the 2021 financial year.
“I am delighted to announce our first acquisition as a public limited company, in line with our stated strategy at initial public offering, and there is no doubt that Norville is an excellent fit for the group,” said chief executive officer Robin Totterman.
“With Savile Row Algha and Norville, we have combined the two oldest and most respected British optical brands - frame maker with lens maker.
“With Inspecs' global frame manufacturing, marketing and sale capabilities, we are continuing to grow our vertically integrated business model.”
Totterman said the company was also taking the opportunity to integrate its two UK manufacturing sites, and soon would offer a bespoke Savile Row lens collection to accompany the frames.
He said the firm’s plan was to similarly offer its many licenced brands with high quality bespoke lens packages.
“The acquisition cements Inspecs' position as the only vertically-integrated designer, manufacturer and distributor of eyewear frames and lenses in the UK, and provides the group with a full lens offering domestically and globally.
“We look forward to welcoming the Norville team into the heart of the Inspecs Group and working together to create a truly cutting edge integrated eyewear business.”
At 1035 BST, shares in Inspecs Group were up 8.21% at 211p.