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Owndays plans 500 stores across Asia after capital injection

LVMH-back private equity fund L Catterton Asia has partnered with Mitsui & Co to take an unspecified stake in fast-growing Japanese eyewear retailer Owndays.

The funds will be used to accelerate the retailer’s across the Asia-Pacific region.

Owndays, which began its Southeast Asia rollout in 2013 opening a store in Singapore, now has 115 stores in Japan and 142 stores in 10 other Asian markets, including Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong (where it is operated by Bluebell Group).

In a statement, L Catterton Asia said the current management team will continue to retain “substantial equity interests” and manage the company.

“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 CEO Shuji Tanaka said.

L Catterton Asia chairman and managing partner Ravi Thakran said the investment in Owndays marks the private equity company’s first foray into Japan.

“The Owndays success story has been one of innovation, quality service and boldly exceeding customer expectations,” he said.

“The company is poised to take advantage of the robust macro trends that are driving the market for private brand eyewear. Together, L Catterton and Mitsui & Co are committed to providing world-class operational and strategic support to propel Owndays to category-leading growth and profitability. With Japanese quality, purity and efficiency increasingly appreciated and desired around the world, we see tremendous market opportunities for Owndays.”

President and CEO of Mitsui & Co subsidiary MCPI, Naoki Nakata, said Owndays is well placed for continued expansion, both domestically and abroad, while also improving profitability by fully leveraging Mitsui and L Catterton’s combined network, resources and demonstrable expertise in value creation.

Since 2009, L Catterton Asia has invested in many leading consumer brands, including Gentle Monster and RM Williams and Pepe Jeans, and in lifestyle mall operator Sasseur, among others. L Catterton Asia, formerly called L Capital Asia, was formed through the partnership of Catterton, LVMH and Groupe Arnault.

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