Nature of business
Óticas Carol was established in 1997 and is now the second largest eyewear retailer in Brazil. It sells a broad range of prescription glasses, sunglasses and related eyewear accessories.
The Óticas Carol retail network comprises 490 stores across 19 states in 235 cities, including São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The franchising model has successfully attracted optical retailers thanks to the strength of its brand, its strong relationships with suppliers and its dedicated laboratory offering which provides access to an exclusive range of high-quality, own-label lenses.
In March 2013, we invested in Óticas Carol alongside institutional investors Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff, and Marcelo Silva, a member of 3i’s Business Leaders Network and the 3i Brazil Advisory Board. Marcelo became a non-executive Director of the business bringing with him significant Brazilian retail experience.
We are supporting management in their plan to expand the store network throughout Brazil, with a focus on 44 high growth cities where Óticas Carol already has a presence. The highly fragmented eyewear market in Brazil has been growing at a c.15% CAGR and the market is expected to continue to grow significantly above GDP in the coming years. We plan to increase our share in this fragmented market to become the leading optical retail chain in Brazil by consistently building on the strength of the Óticas Carol proposition to the franchisee, which comprises a strong brand, continuous investment in media and access to a high quality product offering at lower prices, coupled with an in-house digital laboratory offering.
In addition, we are providing retail sector expertise and input around international best practice in strategy, operations and governance. Through Active Partnership initiatives we are also helping Óticas Carolto structure and prioritise its expansion, whilst assisting in the implementation of adequate tools and systems to monitor the evolution of the business and to track the performance of the franchisee base.
Regulatory notice: This transaction involved a recommendation of 3i Investments plc, advised by 3i Brazil.