Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (AIDA) is nearing a deal to acquire a stake in Indian eyewear start-up Lenskart Solutions Pvt. for about $500 million, citing sources familiar with the matter news agency Bloomberg repoted.
According to the report, the Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund is finalising an agreement to buy a mix of existing Lenskart shares and new equity, the sources said. The deal, which would value Lenskart at more than $4 billion, may be announced as early as this week, the people said.
Lenskart is set to close its funding round amid a global rout for tech companies that’s prompted layoffs in the thousands, depressed investment activity and shaved billions off the valuations of once high-flying start-ups.
The company has grown into India’s largest optical brand and is backed by KKR & Co., SoftBank Group Corp., Temasek Holdings Pte, and PremjiInvest, among others. Though discussions are advanced, details could still change, the people said. Representatives for ADIA and Lenskart declined to comment.
Lenskart, which uses technology and supply chain automation to directly sell glasses and contact lenses to consumers, was co-founded in 2010 by Peyush Bansal, who is also its chief executive officer. The company agreed in June to buy a majority stake in Japan’s Owndays Inc. at a valuation of about $400 million, Bloomberg News has reported.
The company is profitable and is planning an initial public offering within 48 months, Bansal told Bloomberg Television in July.
Last year, Lenskart announced it has taken a majority stake in Japanese eyewear brand Owndays in a deal that is reportedly around $400 million. This will take the merged firm to reach 13 markets in Asia including India, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan.
Owndays Co-founders, CEO Shuji Tanaka and COO Take Umiyama, will continue to be shareholders and lead the management team which will continue to operate as a separate brand. The current major shareholders L Catterton, Mitsui and Principal Investments will exit their positions to Lenskart.
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