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Canada: arm wrestling continues between leader in online sale of contacts and opticians PDF
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International News
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Coastal Contacts Inc., a Canadian online ecommerce website business for contact lenses, recently announced that it has filed a lawsuit against the College of Opticians of British Columbia (COBC) for defamation. According to Coastal Contacts , the COBC made defamatory statements aimed at economically harming the company in its May 17 press release, which appeared on the College's website.

“Coastal Contacts strongly believes in the fundamental right of Canadian consumers to choose where to buy their replacement contact lenses and will vigorously defend such consumer rights ,” stated Roger Hardy, Coastal Contacts’ President and CEO. “We take exception to the misleading comments circulated by the College of Opticians of British Columbia in their attempts to preserve a monopoly."
 
Hoya Vision Care Expands in Czech Republic PDF
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Companies
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Hoya Corporation's Vision Care Division recently announced that it acquired Dioptra CZ a.s., one of the leading distributors of ophthalmic lenses in the Czech Republic.

Dioptra has a long and rich tradition in the optical field, with origins dating back to 1896. Hoya and Dioptra have worked together under an exclusive arrangement since the year 2000. Dioptra CZ employs 32 people in Turnov, near Prague, and generated over € 4 million sales in 2007.

Hoya Corporation's Vision Care Division will acquire 100 percent of the shares in Dioptra CZ. While the existing management team will remain in place, Mr. Rainer Burkard, Director of Global Business Development for Hoya Vision Care, will serve as Acting Managing Director thru 2008.

In early 2009, Hoya expects to appoint Ms. Ivana Nechanicka to serve as Managing Director of Dioptra CZ. Ms. Nechanicka is currently the Southwest Regional Sales Manager for Hoya Vision Care North America. A Czech native and consistently one of Hoya's top sales producers, Ms. Nechanicka will return to her homeland after living in the U.S. for 35 years.

The agreement with Dioptra CZ will allow Hoya to increase sales of high-end premium products in the fast-growing Czech market. Hoya believes the Czech market is growing in excess of 10% per year, driven by an accelerated conversion of mineral to organic lenses, and bi-focal to progressive designs.

Gerald W. Bottero, President and CEO of Hoya Vision Care, said: “We are excited about the future of Hoya in the Czech market, and expect to see higher sales of progressive lenses due to rising disposable incomes, a highly educated class of eye care professionals and favourable demographic trends”.
 
New Postgraduate Programs in Community Eye Health at UNSW PDF
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Australian News
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
A new Master of Community Eye Health and Graduate diploma in Community Eye Health will be offered by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in collaboration with LV Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), Hyderabad, India from January 2009.

The purpose of the new Master and Graduate diploma in Community Eye Health is to produce eye health professionals who are innovative leaders with an understanding of the principles of community eye health and their applications. The Master’s program aims to develop analytical, communication and other higher skills beyond the level of the Graduate diploma.
 
InBev families step into Hans Anders' optician business PDF
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International News
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Verlinvest has landed the capital of the Hans Anders Retail Group via its subsidiary company Cofintra. Verlinvest is owned by the aristocratic Mévius and Spoelberch families, historical shareholders of the Louvain brewer InBev. The extent of their participation is not clear.

Hans Anders Retail Group, the Dutch chain renown for its chain of spectacle shops, has been owned by the Dutch private equity group Gilde since 2004. During the past months the group sought a new partner to realise their ambitious expansion plans throughout Europe. The group plans to double their turnover within five years and to increase their number of stores from 500 to 1,000, primarily through expansion in Belgium, France and eventually Southern Europe. Which brings them to the InBev families. The investment is probably Verlinvest’s biggest investment to date.

The value of Hans Anders Retail Group is estimated at around 150 million euros. The participation also means that Verlinvest will further diversify following their participation in the liquor group Rémy-Cointreau and Vita Coca, the cosmetics group Legsa and the beauty institutes Dove Spa & Ponds Institute, the water manufacturer Hint, the Walloon quarry Carrières de Hainaut and the biggest Belgian convalescent home operators Armonea.
 
Specsavers buys Torga Optical outlets in New Zealand PDF
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New Zealand News
Monday, 25 August 2008
Specsavers has purchased the six Torga Optical outlets in New Zealand. It allows Specsavers to enter the New Zealand market six months earlier than originally planned.

The six retail shops, of which five are based on the North Island, will be completely refitted with a Specsavers look-and-feel with support from Specsavers New Zealand.
 
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