Charlotte-based Black Pearl Global Investments has just entered into an agreement to acquire Florida-based contact lens manufacturer Hydrogel Vision Corp. (HVC). As a result of the acquisition, HVC will be known as Black Pearl Vision, becoming the only Black-owned and woman-owned contact lens manufacturer in the world. The deal is expected to close by mid-September.
“It’s exciting to celebrate this milestone as we close out National Black Business Month,” said Dr. Shante Williams, CEO of Black Pearl Global Investments. “We recognized the company’s potential and quickly saw the opportunity of how we could help train talent for jobs of tomorrow.”
HVC, a division of Clerio Vision, is best known for its Extreme H20 contact lenses, which are made from a proprietary ultra-hydrating material that retains up to 99% of their moisture. Located in Sarasota, Florida, the manufacturer produces lenses in multiple sizes – smaller options for those with smaller corneas or narrower eyelids, and larger lenses for those with larger corneas or athletic lifestyles – as well as opaque-colored contacts for those with astigmatism. Black Pearl Vision plans to introduce new products to consumers early next year.
Through the deal, Black Pearl Global Investments will also acquire the 33,926-square-foot Food and Drug Administration-regulated manufacturing facility in Sarasota. Williams says the firm plans to incorporate more space where new businesses can integrate research, development and manufacturing into their processes.
“We know that venture capital and private equity are among the least diverse areas in the financial sector,” Williams said. “We approached this deal with how to make a great company even better but also with the mindfulness of what it could mean for emerging minority-owned businesses.”
Black Pearl Vision will retain HVC’s 38 employees while increasing the number of jobs in the area.