Valli Opticians seeing double after acquisition
Managing Director, Moin Valli was just a twinkle in his parents eye when Malcom Jones was launching his optical chain in the North West of England. Now, less than 40 years later Valli Opticians Group has acquired Malcolm’s seven strong group.
Valli Holdings acquisition of A H Merton group not only doubles our number of stores, it almost trebles turnover and staff. It also makes Valli Opticians one of the largest independent groups of opticians in the UK.
It as an ambitious move by Mr Valli who has previously acquired one practice a year for the last seven years in Yorkshire, but he said that the two businesses were a perfect fit sharing the same values yet having contrasting strengths that would merge to create a stronger optical offer for patients and staff.
“I was not looking to acquire any more practices this year having added Hull and Hebden Bridge to the portfolio in 2015. The ambition had been to acquire one a year, but when I heard of the opportunity it was too good not to investigate,” he said.
“Malcolm has built a very strong community based business that shares the same values as Valli,” he added. “His business model was the same as mine. Every five years he acquired an established business, retaining the practice name to maintain community identity.
“Both are family companies which always put a premium on patient service offering longer appointments times and working to ensure people feel we care about their visual health first and foremost. Our people also matter so we invest in their development.
“Malcolm was keen to sell his business to someone who understood the A H Merton’s Ltd ethos and it became clear as negotiations progressed that there was much synergy. At the same time we have enough differences to transfer that will be mutually beneficial.
“Valli has always been innovative and creative in our business methods such as outreach work into the community, while AH Mertons Ltd has invested very heavily in systems. It will be a perfect fit,”
Mr Valli said that he had no plans to make any immediate changes to either business being keen to work alongside the existing A H Merton’s Ltd board, which is lead by Executive Director Christine Wrenn and includes Malcolm’s son and daughter Christopher and Tracey, which has run the company for the last 20 years.
“Malcolm Jones has been out of the day to day running of the business for some years and the A H Merton’s board is very capable and organised, we’re looking forward to sharing best practice,” said Mr Valli.
Christine Wrenn, Executive Director, of A H Merton’s Ltd said: “A H Mertons Ltd have a strong reputation and we have worked tirelessly to ensure we provide our patients with a high standard of professional eyecare within the independent sector. Our loyal practice teams are passionate about eye care and the ocular health of our patients, so it was essential we found the right company with a similar strategy and philosophy.
“We are absolutely delighted to be working alongside Moin Valli of The Valli Group and are confident Moin will take our company to the next level of eye care.”
Malcolm Jones said: “You just know when it’s right and a perfect match, the synergies between us were apparent from the first meeting with Moin, we have the same drive and determination to provide our patients with an excellent level of eye care and customer service.
“Christine Wrenn, Tracey Jones and Chris Jones of the management team remain and look forward to working with Moin and have every confidence the experience of both companies will enable us to nurture and develop our teams, ensuring we build on the continued success of our company well into the future.
“It was important to me that my team were going to be well looked after and I am confident that Moin will do that. We wish Moin and the team every success,” he added.