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2020 Optical Store sold to Vision Express

London's largest independent optician Designville, which trades as 2020 Optical Store, has been sold out of administration to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

2020 Optical Store sold to Vision Express

London's largest independent optician Designville, which trades as 2020 Optical Store, has been sold out of administration to Vision Express for an undisclosed sum.

The Bloomsbury store, which specialises in Seiko, Carl Zeiss and Nikon spectacle lenses, has annual sales of around £3.4 million and employs 25 people. The business had been trading for more than 20 years when it was placed in administration earlier this summer.

Asset valuation and recovery specialist Winterhill Largo assisted joint administrators, Lloyd Hinton and Tony Hyams of Marriotts Recovery, in selling the business to Vision Express.

Neil Duckworth, chief executive of Winterhill Largo, said: “This was a challenging assignment for us. Designville’s financial problems stemmed from the economic downturn, exacerbated by the collapse of a laser eye surgery business to which they were sub-letting part of the store, and the news had already reached the public domain.

“We worked closely with the joint administrators from Marriotts Recovery, who decided to continue to trade the business as a going concern, retaining key staff, while also actively seeking a buyer.”

The business was sold to Vision Express prior to the rent quarter date in June with secured creditors repaid in full.

Finance for the wage roll and essential supplies was provided by short term funding provider, Winterhill Liquidity, enabling the joint administrators to continue to trade the business. 

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