Feb 6, 2015
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Optician group Grandvision valued at 5 billion euros on open

Feb 6, 2015

AMSTERDAM, Holland - Shares in optician Grandvision started trading slightly higher than their offer price of 20 euros on Friday, valuing the retailer at around 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion/£3.7 billion).

The world's largest optical retailer, Grandvision has more than 5,600 stores in 43 countries in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia, trading under brands such as Vision Express in Britain and Apollo-Optik in Germany.

Photo: GrandVision

The shares were trading at 20.03 euros by 0810 GMT.

The company had last month set a price range on its shares of between 17.50 and 21.50 euros.

The float was originally planned for late last year but was postponed due to poor market conditions.

Opticians are attracting investor interest because of the growth opportunities offered by an ageing population. They are shielded from online competition by the need for an optician to conduct vision tests in person.

Parent HAL, an investment firm privately owned by the wealthy Dutch Van der Vorm family, sold shares worth around 20 percent of the company. It has offered a further 3 percent through an over-allotment option.

Curacao-based HAL had hoped to raise some 600 million euros from the sale.

ABN Amro and JP Morgan were joint global coordinators on the issue and Barclays, BNP Paribas and HSBC were bookrunners. ING and Rabobank were lead managers.

€1 = $1.15/£0.75

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