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HomeminewsDesigns for Vision Bought Out By Paragon Care

Designs for Vision Bought Out By Paragon Care

Optometric distributor Designs for Vision (DFV) has been acquired by Australian publically listed company Paragon Care (PGC) in a move that offers greater security and opportunity for growth, says DFV joint managing director Brad Grills.

Mr. Grills and his business partner Nikolas Apostolou purchased the company four years ago from founder (and Brad Grills’ father) Richard Grills and were not actively seeking a sale.

“We hadn’t put the word out there, we were still early on in our tenure of running Designs for Vision, but we had to consider a few things, and the opportunity arose. We had always thought Designs for Vision would become publically listed so this acquisition has fast-tracked the process.”

Brad Grills said the decision would not impact staff or clients in the optometry or ophthalmology sectors. “Nothing changes. Our new boss (Mark Simari) has indicated no-one at DFV will lose their jobs and for optometrists and ophthalmologists, it is business as usual. There is not another optometry or ophthalmology distributor under the Paragon umbrella. Like many other companies, they’ve seen a huge market in eye balls and so they’re bolting companies like ours on to theirs.”

Designs for Vision was one of three companies that Paragon Care announced it would acquire on 18 August 2015. The others were Western Biomedical Pty Ltd and Meditron Pty Ltd. The acquisitions will establish a “truly national footprint for the company” according to a statement submitted to the Australian Stock Exchange.

In the statement Paragon Care’s Managing Director Mr. Mark Simari said, “The acquisitions are consistent with the company’s strategy to become one of Australia’s leading providers of medical equipment and consumable products to the health and aged care sector throughout Australia and New Zealand. The new businesses will enhance the company’s strong organic growth profile, while lowering overall risk through product and geographic diversification. All three businesses come with exceptional management and executive teams that will be retained post- acquisition and partner with Paragon to transition their businesses onto the Company’s healthcare platform”.

In a written announcement, Mr. Grills and Mr. Apostolou said, “DFV is a successful business in its own right but we believe now is the optimum time to take advantage of an opportunity to provide further investment to grow and expand the business so that it continues to be even more competitive in the future.

“We believe in this business and its people and in part this is why we decided to transfer the shareholding to a stronger balance sheet to build more financial strength into the DFV brand, and in turn create more opportunities together for our people. PGC respects our people and shares much of what we have in our core values.”

Reinforcing his commitment to DFV and Paragon, Mr. Grills said he and Mr. Apostolou had taken a “significant” shareholding in Paragon Health. “We haven’t cashed out, we’re not sailing off into the sunset, we are still co-managing directors, only now we will be reporting upwards to a boss… we are incentivised to maintain the profitability of DFV and our contract has been structured in a way that we can be here for as long as we like with a two-year minimum.”

He said that while no jobs would be lost at DFV, he hoped the company would benefit from Paragon Care’s infrastructure and systems. Additionally he said, he hoped to find synergies within the broader business that would lead to new growth opportunities.

As a family company, and having worked in it for 22 years, Mr. Grills said working through the process of selling the business to Paragon Care has been an emotional journey.

“Emotions are running but it’s the best decision for the company, my family, Nick’s family and the staff here as well. Dad’s been part of the process and he is happy with that, he knows and believes it’s the right decision.

“We see an exciting future for the industry, our staff and our customers. We are proud of what DFV has developed over the past 40 years and we are keen to continue to see it flourish.”

Completion is expected in late September subject to satisfaction of a number of conditions.