Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and HVHC Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Highmark Inc., today announced that they reached a definitive agreement, whereby Centerbridge will purchase Davis Vision, Inc., HVHC's managed vision care subsidiary. As part of the agreement, Davis Vision will be combined with Centerbridge's existing managed vision care portfolio company, Superior Vision, and Highmark will acquire a minority ownership interest in the combined Davis Vision-Superior Vision company.
In a separate transaction, Centerbridge will acquire a minority equity stake in Visionworks, HVHC's optical retail subsidiary. Highmark will retain a controlling ownership interest in Visionworks.
The transactions are expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory approval.
Headquartered in San Antonio, TX, HVHC and its subsidiaries constitute one of the largest vision/optical enterprises in the United States. HVHC's subsidiaries include managed vision care provider Davis Vision and national optical retailer Visionworks. Each business also has manufacturing facilities. Together, the HVHC companies generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2016. Centerbridge has existing experience in vision services, through its controlling investment in Superior Vision, a leader in managed vision care.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Highmark and the management of all three businesses across this multidimensional transaction," said Dan Osnoss, managing director of Centerbridge. "We believe the combination of Davis Vision with Superior Vision presents the opportunity to create the leading national managed vision benefit offering with differentiated service for customers and members, and we look forward to supporting Visionworks in continuing to deliver an exceptional retail experience and in its next phase of growth. In the coming months, we will continue to work with Highmark to plan and implement a smooth transition for our respective organizations and stakeholders."
According to statement released by Highmark, Peter Bridgman will join Visionworks as CEO. He will lead the company through the transaction's closing and beyond as Visionworks continues on its growth path. Bridgman served as senior vice president and general manager for LensCrafters, senior vice president and general manager for Pearle Vision, and vice president of Strategy & Innovation for EyeMed. Earlier in his career he was a principal in the Health Care Practice at Booz & Company. Jim Eisen, who has been with Visionworks/HVHC for the last nine years and served a three-year tenure as CEO of HVHC, has decided to step down in connection with the transaction.