Companies & Industries

Vancouver’s sold to French company for $430 million

A rendering of the new Vancouver store on Robson Street. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Contacts Inc.)

A rendering of the new Vancouver store on Robson Street. (Photo courtesy of Coastal Contacts Inc.)

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One of Canada’s most successful ecommerce companies is set to have new owners.

On Feb 27th, Coastal Contacts Inc. (, the Vancouver-based parent company of glasses and contact lens manufacturer and digital retailer, announced that it has entered into an acquisition agreement with Essilor International, a lens manufacturer based in France.

Essilor has agreed to buy all of the issued and outstanding common shares of the publicly-traded firm, which is listed on both NASDAQ and the TSX, for $12.45 per share, representing a net equity value of approximately $430 million.

According to Roger Hardy,’s founder and CEO (and a columnist), the deal will enhance the company’s ability to achieve its goals. “Essilor shares’s focus on customers, innovation and growth,” he said in a statement. “I am confident this transaction is the right decision for, our employees and our shareholders.”

Hardy will still be involved with for a two-year transition period. The company will continue to operate autonomously, and will stay headquartered in Vancouver.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including shareholder, court and regulatory approval. If everything goes according to plan, the acquisition will close in the second quarter of 2014. ranked No. 432 on the 2013 PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. In recent years, the company has made some big changes to its business, including opening its first bricks-and-mortar stores in Canada, moving its manufacturing from Asia to North America and agreeing to accept Bitcoin.