Hilsinger

The Story

The Hilsinger Company, established in 1956, is a leading designer, merchandiser, and distributor of consumer optical accessories, professional optical tools, and related products in the United States and Western Europe. The company’s product offering includes optical aspheric lenses and optical progressive lenses as well as optical scanning, test, and measuring equipment.

Transaction Dynamics

A partnership with management to acquire the company from a private owner.

Investment Thesis

  • Market leader in multiple product markets
  • Niche-dominant distributor serving over 25,000+, optometrists, ophthalmologists, independent opticians, and retail optical chains
  • Experienced management team
  • Strong platform for add-on acquisitions
  • Long history of free cash flow generation
  • Positive underlying demand drivers: aging population and “fashionization” of eyewear

Incline Value Enhancement

  • Completed six add-on acquisitions
  • Implemented lean manufacturing practices
  • Installed carousel picking system to reduce labor and workspace constraints
  • Rationalized cost structure to protect profitability profile
  • Introduced a number of successful new products, including prescription sport and safety product lines

Headquarters

Plainville, MA

Industry

Value-added Distribution

Investment Date

December 2006

Status

Realized

Fund

I

Hilco flourished during our relationship with Incline.  The supportive environment they created, combined with their extensive background in acquiring and operating middle-market distribution companies, allowed us to accomplish more than what we originally expected from the partnership. Bob Nahmias, Chief Executive Officer

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