March 22, 2019

VIG Partners to invest W137.5b in colored contact lens maker Star Vision

PUBLISHED : June 05, 2018 - 10:54

UPDATED : June 05, 2018 - 14:26

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[THE INVESTOR] Korean private equity firm VIG Partners said on June 4 it will invest 137.5 billion won (US$128.50 million), including 33 billion won of convertible shares, in Star Vision, a local maker of colored contact lenses and sunglasses.

The firm said it will secure a 41.9 percent stake under the deal, which also includes an option to obtain a controlling stake in the future. 

Star Vision, established in 2012, sells colored contact lenses under the brand name O-Lens. It operates more than 280 stores across the nation -- the largest here. In 2014, the firm also launched a sunglass brand CARIN that sells at more than 390 outlets, including its own showrooms, department stores and duty-free shops.

Colored lenses, first introduced in Korea and Japan during the early 2000s, have been increasingly popular among young people in Asia, especially riding on the popularity of the K-pop and K-beauty in the region. Over the past five years, the market has grown more than 20 percent.

Star Vision posted 58.1 billion won in revenue and 18.2 billion won in operating profit last year. VIG said the firm has full potential for further growth considering the firm has not yet entered overseas markets.

“Star Vision is a unique company that has pioneered a new market for beauty lenses with colorful design and also successfully launched its own sunglass brand,” said Lee Chul-min, managing partner of VIG Partners.

“While reviewing investment opportunities related to the so-called ‘K-fashion’ and ‘K-beauty,’ VIG identified Star Vision’s dominant brand and retail presence in Korea as well as its outstanding growth potential.”

VIG said the deal is expected to close in early July as part of the PEF’s sixth investment from its Fund III worth 700 billion won raised in January 2017.

By Lee Ji-yoon (

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