Dec 23, 2021
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Inspecs buys Sweden's Ego Eyewear

Dec 23, 2021

UK eyewear specialist Inspecs is continuing its acquisitions strategy with the firm on Thursday saying it has bought Sweden-based Ego Eyewear Limited.

Ivana Helsinki is one of the brands Ego works with

Ego is a design and licensing company and uses third-party eyewear manufacturers to produce premium fashion brands. Its design house is based in Stockholm, and it also has operations in London, Osaka and Hong Kong.

And the takeover brings a range of prestige labels into the Inspecs orbit. They include Barbour, Liberty of London, Viktor & Rolf, Lyle & Scott, Henry Lloyd and Joseph, plus Nordic brands Ivana Helsinki, Valerie and Day. 

They join the existing Inspecs line-up that includes Superdry, Radley, O’Neill, Ted Baker, Lulu Guinness and Talbot Runhof, alongside other names.

Ego is run by “second-generation eyewear veterans Ronald and Johanna Gezang, who are known for their innovative and creative designs”, the company said.

The Swedish firm’s main distribution channel is through major optical chains. 

Inspecs has paid £6.175 million for 100% of Ego Eyewear Limited and its operating subsidiaries in Sweden and Hong Kong. There’s also a deferred consideration partly based on performance over the next three years. 

Ego is expected to have revenue of £8.9 million for this year, up significantly from the £3.4 million it recorded in 2020. And the acquisition should be earnings enhancing for 2022.

Its new owner’s CEO, Robin Totterman, said: “We are pleased to bring Ego into the Inspecs group to further develop our brand portfolio and add to our Scandinavian offering, where we believe there are considerable opportunities for us. 

“We have known Ronald and Johanna for a number of years and watched as they have successfully developed Ego into a significant player in the Nordic region, Japan and the UK. Both parties were able to see the value that Inspecs brings to continued development of global sales. Ego's design studio in Stockholm adds to our existing teams in the UK, Portugal, Hong Kong and New York.”

The Ego purchase comes only a few weeks after Inspecs — which is listed on the London Stock Exchange — announced the acquisition of the partnership assets and liabilities of BoDe Design Vertriebs GmbH & Co.

The German firm is a distributor of optical and sunglasses frames principally to the German market and Inspecs is currently its largest supplier. The UK firm paid around €1.76 million upfront for the company with that transaction also including a deferred consideration.

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