L Catterton Asia, Mitsui invest in Japanese eyeware firm OWNDAYS

Photo: OWNDAYS' Facebook page

L Catterton Asia and Mitsui & Co Principal Investments, a subsidiary of Japan’s Mitsui & Co, have partnered to invest in Japanese eyewear company OWNDAYS Inc.

This is the first investment in Japan for L Catterton Asia, a unit of consumer-focused US private equity firm L Catterton.

An OWNDAYS statement said the financing will boost its efforts to expand across the Asia Pacific.

“Our ambition is to become Asia’s leading optical retailer and we plan to open more than 500 stores across the Asia Pacific region over the next five years,” said OWNDAYS chief executive Shuji Tanaka.

OWNDAYS designs and manufactures optical eyewear glasses under the OWNDAYS retail brand. Present across 11 countries including major cities in Southeast Asia, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, it runs 115 stores in Japan and 142 stores in other Asian markets.

After the transaction, the current management team of OWNDAYS will continue to retain substantial equity interest and manage the company.

“The Company is poised to take advantage of the robust macro trends that are driving the market for private brand eyewear,” said L Catterton Asia chairman and managing partner Ravi Thakran. “With Japanese quality, purity and efficiency increasingly appreciated and desired around the world, we see tremendous market opportunities for OWNDAYS.”

L Catterton Asia is on track to close its third Asian buyout fund by early next year at $1.5 billion. Its portfolio companies include Trendy International, Pepe Jeans, Gentle Monster, YG Entertainment, Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, and Sasseur.

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