Dallas, TX – July 30, 2021 – Riata Capital Group (“RCG” or “Riata”), a Dallas-based private equity investment firm, today announced the closing of a GP-led secondary transaction (the “Transaction”) for its portfolio company AEG Vision (“AEG” or the “Company”), an owner and operator of over 235 eyecare practices throughout North America. The Transaction allows RCG to return capital to certain existing investors while providing AEG with substantial growth capital to execute its long-term strategy. Investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley’s secondaries group led the Transaction.
Since RCG formed AEG in 2017 through the simultaneous acquisition of three regional eyecare groups, AEG has scaled to become one of the largest buy-and-build optometry platforms in North America. Since AEG’s formation, the Company has achieved the following:
- Increased practice count from 65 to over 235 by completing over 100 add-on acquisitions
- Expanded geographic coverage from 5 states at inception, to 12 states today
- Integrated and transitioned over 90% of its network of optometry practices onto a common IT system platform that provides POS, EHR, and ERP solutions
- Recruited and developed a deep management team with significant experience in eyecare, physician-led, and multi-site businesses
RCG’s Co-Managing Partner Jeff Fronterhouse said, “This Transaction has been a great outcome for all stakeholders involved, providing early investors with an attractive liquidity option at their election, as well providing substantial new capital as AEG enters into its next phase of growth. And importantly, AEG is well-positioned to continue its mission of building a world-class eyecare organization that is good for doctors, good for patients, and a positive influence in optometry.”
Eric Anderson, CEO of AEG Vision, concluded, “Over the past several years, we have significantly expanded AEG’s network of practices while making significant investments to support technology, back-office support, and other key operational areas that elevate outcomes for doctors, staff, and patients. The secondary transaction provides additional resources in this respect and provides key validation for the next phase of our growth strategy. We thank RCG for their continued support and welcome our new investors.”
In addition to the successful closing of the GP-led secondary transaction for AEG, RCG has achieved several other important milestones, including:
- Selling its portfolio company WSS to Foot Locker for $750 million after doubling revenue and increasing EBITDA five-fold since late 2016
- Closing two new platform investments and 54 add-on acquisitions and investing over $270 million of equity capital over the last twelve months; and
- Investing over $470 million of equity capital since late 2016
Additional Transaction Information
Evercore served as the lead financial advisor to RCG and AEG with respect to the Transaction. Kirkland & Ellis, Ropes & Gray, and Vinson & Elkins served as legal advisors to RCG and AEG.
About Riata Capital Group
Riata Capital Group is a Dallas-based private equity investment firm that partners with seasoned management teams to invest in growing, profitable, privately-held companies with a focus on three industry sectors: consumer, business services, and healthcare services. The firm takes a selective approach to investing in high-potential businesses whose owners and management teams want an investment partner with the capital, experience, and record of successful collaboration required to achieve their liquidity and value-creation objectives. Since 2016, RCG has closed over 100 acquisitions and invested over $470 million of equity capital. Over the course of their careers, the principals of RCG have sponsored over 200 acquisitions representing over $4.9 billion in transaction value. The firm targets equity investments of $25-$150 million in companies with $5-$30 million of EBITDA. With significant investment experience, a balanced team with financial and operating expertise, a strong team of seasoned operating partners, and significant experience in the firm's core sectors, Riata provides a compelling value proposition to business owners and entrepreneurs.
About AEG Vision
AEG Vision is a rapidly-growing community of wholly-owned eyecare practices that deliver full-scope optometric services coupled with a full-service retail dispensary. The core purpose that unifies AEG’s doctors and associates is to “improve the health of our community by helping our neighbors see better and look their best, one patient at a time”. To achieve this, AEG strives to maintain the local DNA that has made each practice successful. At the same time, AEG enables each business to elevate its operations by leveraging AEG’s “Common Platform”. Founded in March of 2017, AEG currently operates over 235 practices operating under different regional brands across 12 states. www.AEGVision.com
Disclosure Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements pertaining to Riata Capital Group’s private equity investment business. Other than statements of historical fact, all statements that address activities, events or developments that RCG anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and expectations for the future. Although we believe such estimates and assumptions to be reasonable, they are inherently uncertain and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are beyond our control. RCG makes no guarantee that other investments made by the company will be successful. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Jonathan Morgan or William Halliday