Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners is buying 1-800 Contacts for an undisclosed amount.
Website 1-800 Contacts sells contact lenses online.
Boston-based Thomas H. Lee invests in business and financial services, consumer, health care, media and information services companies. In May, the firm, with an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, agreed to buy CTI Foods. In March, the firm’s portfolio company Party City Holdings Inc. agreed to buy iParty Corp. for $35 million.
The businesses are being sold by WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP). “As we prepare for the coming changes to the health care system, we are focused on our core growth opportunities across both our commercial and government business segments. Proceeds from this transaction will support our continued capital deployment strategies,” says Joseph Swedish, CEO of WellPoint.
WellPoint, headquartered in Indianapolis, provides medical coverage through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem Life Insurance, and other plans.
WellPoint also agreed to sell Glasses.com, a 1-800 Contacts subsidiary, and its virtual try-on technology to Italian eyewear company Luxottica.
Glasses.com sells prescription glasses online, providing users with a virtual try on service to see how glasses would look on their face or the option to have frames shipped to their homes for try on.
Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP provided legal advice to Thoms H. Lee on the deal. Ballard Spahr advised 1-800 Contacts and Glasses.com on the deal.