Revision Military has sold its eyewear business to a pair of private equity firms out of New York and Chicago, company officials announced last week.
The sale includes the company’s brand name and its 53,000-square foot complex at Essex’s Saxon Hill Industrial Park. The new owners plan to continue to operate the facility without any job loss, according to Kelly Krayewsky, Revision’s director of marketing communications who plans to stay on with the new company.
“One of the things that makes this transaction really valuable is that the people who work in this building and the equipment we have here ... is unique to Essex,” Krayewsky said. “What we do here would be extremely difficult to pick up and move anywhere else.”
Revision was founded as a protective eyewear company in 2001 before expanding its product line to include helmets, communications gear and other tactical technology. The Essex facility is the hub of product design, development, assembly, quality control, warehousing and distribution for the brand’s optical products.
Krayewsky said the military and police helmet operation will be renamed and rebranded as a separate entity, with the company continuing to operate existing facilities, including the helmet plant in Newport.
The sale follows news last summer of Revision’s plans to move its operational headquarters from Essex to Portsmouth, N.H., a move officials said at the time would allow better access to employees and travel hubs. Krayewsky said the company is now building a laboratory there and expects the New Hampshire headquarters to grow.
The buyers are ASGARD Partners & Co., a private investment firm out of New York, and Merit Capital Partners, a Chicago equity firm.
“Revision has long been an industry leader in protective eyewear solutions, saving the lives and eyesight of millions of servicemen and women around the globe,” said Karen Rai, founder and managing partner of ASGARD. “With a renewed focus on protective eyewear and dedicated capital resources, we believe Revision is well-positioned for growth in the years to come.”
One potential area of growth is Revision’s recreational eyewear brand, which launched last year to offer specialized eyewear for outdoor hobbyists, rolling out four polarized sunglasses geared toward high-elevation hunters, anglers and outdoor adventurers.
Company officials had said the new line of eyewear would allow Revision to build a clientele beyond its government and military partners, and Krayewsky said this week that launch was “instrumental” in demonstrating that Revision’s value extends beyond the military and law enforcement world.
“We have a pretty stellar team here,” Krayewsky said. “So it’s exciting to have that renewed focus, and everyone here is really excited for the change and the growth opportunity we have here.”