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L Catterton Asia, Mitsui invest in eyewear firm Owndays

PRIVATE equity firm L Catterton Asia and Mitsui & Co Principal Investments (MCPI) have partnered to invest in Japanese eyewear company Owndays Inc and accelerate its growth across the Asia-Pacific region, L Catterton Asia announced in a media release on Thursday, without disclosing the size of the investment.

Owndays has 115 stores in Japan and 142 in 10 other Asian markets, including 27 in Singapore, offering rapid service for prescription glasses in own-brand styles. The current management team will continue to retain substantial equity interests and manage the company.

Said Owndays chief executive officer Shuji Tanaka: "Our ambition is to become Asia’s leading optical retailer, and we plan to open more than 500 stores across the Asia-Pacific region over the next five years."

L Catterton Asia is the Asian unit of consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton, formed through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault, while MCPI is a subsidiary of Japanese trading house Mitsui & Co.

The investment is L Catterton Asia's first foray into Japan. Said L Catterton Asia chairman and managing partner Ravi Thakran: "Together, L Catterton and Mitsui & Co are committed to providing world class operational and strategic support to propel Owndays to category leading growth and profitability."

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MCPI president and CEO Naoki Nakata said: "Owndays is well placed for continued expansion, both domestically and abroad, while also improving profitability by fully leveraging Mitsui and L Catterton's combined network, resources and demonstrable expertise in value creation."

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