Vision Express has today (19 April) announced its acquisition of Tesco Opticians branches throughout the UK and Ireland.
The deal sees the multiple purchase all 209 Tesco Opticians, expanding its portfolio to more than 598 practices.
Vision Express has confirmed that it will retain all 1500-plus staff that are employed at Tesco Opticians, with the opticians said to have made an estimated £90m last year.
The acquisition, which is expected to be completed in late 2017, is now subject to regulatory approval by the UK Competition and Markets Authority.
CEO of Vision Express, Jonathan Lawson, said: "This is a really exciting time for Vision Express and provides us with the opportunity to invest in the future of the nation’s eye health by extending our reach even further across the UK."
Commenting after the announcement, the AOP's employment counsel, Heidi Blakey, said: "The AOP is aware that Tesco has announced the sale of its opticians business to Vision Express and will be considering and reviewing its effect on the employment of any AOP members in due course."
When Mintel released its latest Optical Goods Retailing report last month, it identified Vision Express as the third largest opticians on the High Street, behind Specsavers and Boots. Combined, Mintel revealed that in 2016 the trio of companies owned a 66% market share of the sector, with Specsavers accounting for 39% of optical outlets, Boots 15% and Vision Express 13%.