ROCHESTER, NY & BUENOS AIRES – Bausch + Lomb, the global eye health company, today announced it has acquired 100 percent of the outstanding shares of Laboratorio Pförtner Cornealent SACIF, the controlling entity of Waicon. Waicon is the Argentinean market leader in contact lenses and lens care products. As a result of this combination, Bausch + Lomb will be the leading eye health company in Argentina. The Pförtner family will continue to operate their retail chain of optical shops under the brand name "Pförtner" and as an independent company, unrelated to Bausch + Lomb.
While Bausch + Lomb plans to combine Waicon with its Vision Care operations in Argentina, the businesses will continue to operate separately as the companies proceed through the integration process. For the time being, Carina Tarzia will continue as Argentina Country Manager for Bausch + Lomb and Maximo Pförtner will continue as the General Manager of the Waicon business. Tomás Pförtner, founder of Waicon and a globally recognized opinion leader in the eye health field, will serve as Special Scientific Advisor to Bausch + Lomb. Pförtner ’s retail division will continue to operate as an independent company unrelated to Bausch + Lomb.
“Waicon is an excellent strategic fit for Bausch + Lomb, with complementary offerings, a long-standing and trusted brand, a rich heritage and a shared commitment to customer service,” said Mariano Garcia-Valino, EVP and President, Bausch + Lomb Latin America. “Together, we will create the most innovative and comprehensive eye health portfolio in Argentina, offering eye care professionals and patients unprecedented choice when it comes to meeting their needs.”
With broad channel coverage and direct distribution capabilities, Waicon will deepen Bausch + Lomb’s customer access and accelerate its business expansion in this growing market. Likewise, by investing in innovative new technologies, Bausch + Lomb will maximize the value of Waicon’s existing products, while unlocking a pipeline of new products for the Argentinean market.
“The combination of our businesses offers new opportunities for Waicon and those who use our products, to benefit from Bausch + Lomb’s innovation, breadth of eye health offerings and global scale,” said Tomás Pförtner. “We are proud to be combining our strong business with Bausch + Lomb.”
“Bausch + Lomb is committed to growth and innovation in Latin America, and together with Waicon, we will continue to deliver excellent products and bring innovative, industry-changing eye health solutions to market,” said Sheila Hopkins, Global President, Vision Care, Bausch + Lomb.
The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Laboratorio Pförtner was established as a contact lens manufacturer and designer in 1943, when Klaus Pförtner, a German optician, began manufacturing contact lenses and ocular prostheses in Argentina. Based on this technological heritage, his son, Dr. Tomás Pförtner, started the Waicon Division in 1972, the first company to manufacture soft hydrophilic contact lenses in Latin America. Since then the company has excelled as a leading manufacturer in Argentina, supplying innovative products and gaining international prestige with its opaque tinted contact lenses.
About Bausch + Lomb
Bausch + Lomb is one of the best-known and most respected healthcare companies in the world. Its core businesses include contact lenses and lens care products, ophthalmic surgical devices and instruments, and ophthalmic pharmaceuticals. Founded in 1853, the company is headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., and employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Its products are available in more than 100 countries. More information is available at www.bausch.com.