CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blue Point Capital Partners is pleased to announce, in partnership with management, the recapitalization of Europa Eyewear, a family-owned designer and manufacturer of proprietary eyewear frames primarily serving the independent eyecare provider market.
Founded by Alan and Cynthia Shapiro in 1977 and led today by the founders’ son Scott Shapiro, Europa is one of the largest independent eyewear companies in the United States. Employing a unique model within the industry, nearly all of the Company’s frame collections are proprietary trade and consumer brands supported by a fully employed salesforce. Europa’s focus on serving the independent optical market has garnered the Company best-in-class customer relationships, exceptional loyalty and above-market growth for decades.
“Blue Point’s industry-focused operating executives, optical experience and differentiated capabilities made partnering with them an easy choice,” said Europa CEO Scott Shapiro. “From the beginning, it was clear that Blue Point shared our vision for the future, but even more importantly, they shared our values. This was imperative given Europa’s unique culture and the role this plays in shaping the next chapter of our family’s legacy. Jerry and I are incredibly excited to work alongside the Blue Point team in this next chapter.”
“Over the past 46 years, Europa has provided our customers with best-in-class service and exceptional eyewear collections. The launch of premier eyewear brands STATE and American Optical, which are both manufactured in our state-of-the-art facility in Illinois, clearly positions us for our next stage of growth,” said Europa President Jerry Wolowicz. “Together, Europa and Blue Point are committed to strengthening the tremendous value and service we provide to our customers as well as expanding our product portfolio to continue addressing the needs of today’s consumers.”
This investment is supported by Blue Point’s decades of experience working with family-owned businesses and its deep knowledge of the optical space, underpinned by its transformative investment in Hilco Vision, a global leader in the distribution of optical products and accessories. In addition to Blue Point’s industry experience and value-added capabilities, Jeff Cole and Holly Rush, two highly accomplished industry leaders, will serve as advisors and board members to the Company while providing guidance to the Europa management team.
“Europa is an outstanding company. We are proud to support its leadership team in further strengthening its exceptional culture and providing a platform for growth by leveraging Blue Point’s value-add capabilities and future M&A,” said Blue Point Principal Evan Cottington.
Europa Eyewear is one of the largest independent designers and manufacturers of eyewear frames in the United States. Europa offers a diverse portfolio of 11 independent eyewear brands, including STATE, which launched in 2015, and American Optical Eyewear, which the Company acquired in 2019. Europa also built and maintains the largest eyewear manufacturing facility in the United States.
Blue Point Capital Partners is a private equity firm managing over $1.5 billion in committed capital. With resources in Cleveland, Charlotte, Seattle and Shanghai, Blue Point’s geographical footprint allows it to establish relationships with local and regional entrepreneurs and advisors while providing the perspectives and resources of a global organization. Blue Point has over a two-decade history of partnering with lower middle-market businesses to build processes and capabilities to achieve growth. The firm focuses on opportunities where it can leverage its extensive experience, network of operating resources and focused add-on acquisition efforts. The portfolio is supported by Blue Point’s unique toolkit — which includes innovative global supply chain, data and digital and human capital strategies. Blue Point typically invests in businesses that generate between $30 million and $300 million in revenue.
Note: Certain statements about Blue Point Capital Partners made by portfolio company executives herein are intended to illustrate Blue Point Capital Partners’ business relationship with such persons, including with respect to Blue Point Capital Partners’ facilities as a business partner, rather than Blue Point Capital Partners’ capabilities or expertise with respect to investment advisory services. Portfolio company executives were not compensated in connection with their participation, although they generally receive compensation and investment opportunities in connection with their portfolio company roles, and in certain cases are also owners of portfolio company securities and/or investors in Blue Point Capital Partners-sponsored vehicles.