Boots Opticians to merge with Dollond & Aitchison
Boots Opticians is to merge with Dollond & Aitchison, the high street retail chain said today.
The combined business, trading as Boots Opticians, will have around 690 practices and employ more than 5,000 staff.
Dollond & Aitchison will gradually disappear from the high street as its stores adopt the Boots Optician brand.
Alliance Boots said the new company, which will be joint-owned with Dollond & Aitchison parent De Rigo, will create the UK's second largest chain of opticians.
The new Boots Opticians is expected to knock Vision Express off second place in the UK's optical chain pecking order.
Specsavers will still be the country's largest opticians.
Boots Opticians will be run as a stand-alone business and it is expected that the headquarters will be established in Nottingham.
Stefano Pessina, executive chairman of Alliance Boots, said: "The merger gives us an excellent opportunity to create a leading force in the UK optical market.
"Our plan is to grow and develop the new business, building on the strengths of the Boots brand."
The deal, which is subject to the approval of competition authorities, is expected to be completed by the end of June.
Alliance Boots will hold a controlling stake in the new company.
The firm said it hoped the new Boots Opticians would use De Rigo's strength as a glasses designer.
Maurizio Dessolis, vice chairman of De Rigo, said: "The proposed merger will bring together many complementary strengths.
"The new business will offer customers excellent service and high-quality eyewear."
Boots Opticians employs 2,800 people, while Dollond & Aitchison has 2,200 workers.
A spokeswoman for Alliance Boots said neither company had full coverage in the UK, so it was anticipated that there would not be much overlap.
She said the merger was motivated by a desire "to grow the business" rather than out of any financial worries on either side.
"The idea is really to create a leading force in the optical market," she added.
- 1 Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
- 2 Porn block in India: hundreds of sexual websites banned, internet outraged
- 3 Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
Jackie Chan in second place in Forbes' Highest Paid Actors list after magazine includes actors working outside US movie industry
Malaysia issues arrest warrant for Gordon Brown’s sister-in-law after she publishes stories on leader Najib Razak's financial affairs
Natalia Molchanova: World's most successful free-driver is missing and feared dead after disappearing in Mediterranean
Giant Minion terrorises drivers in Ireland as 40ft inflatable blocks traffic on Dublin road
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Chris Leslie: Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity agenda will harm the poor, says Labour shadow Chancellor
Landlords renting properties to illegal immigrants to face up to five years in prison
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn could be the next Prime Minister, says Ken Clarke
iJobs Money & Business
£35 - £50k DOE: Guru Careers: A Tax Manager / Accountant (ACA / CA / CTA) is n...
£35000 - £37000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Contracts Executive - Cit...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...