Freedom Scientific and Optelec Join Forces in Assistive Technology Merger
- PETERSBURG, FL and BARENDRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS – NOVEMBER 16, 2015 – Freedom Scientific and Optelec announced today that the two companies have merged to create the world’s largest assistive technology provider for the visually impaired. The two companies have a long history of providing innovative technology solutions that enable blind and low vision individuals to reach their full potential – to gain an education, obtain employment, succeed in professional careers, and live independently throughout their lives.
“Combining our complementary businesses gives us the broadest portfolio in the industry and unmatched worldwide distribution and customer support,” said John Blake, CEO of Freedom Scientific. “The combined company will be able to offer customers a broad portfolio of well known brands of video magnifiers, scanning and reading solutions, refreshable Braille displays, and the industry’s most recognized screen reading software, JAWS® for Windows.”
“Our employees are energized by the capability that results from this merger and we are eager to start working together to deliver market leading solutions, training and support to the broadest audience of blind and low vision users,” said Maarten Bosch, CEO of Optelec.
Both companies were recently acquired by Vector Capital, a San Francisco based firm that invests in market leading global technology companies.
“We are excited to bring together two of the industry’s leading companies to create a global, diversified end-to-end technology provider to the low-vision and blind community,” said Andy Fishman, a Managing Director at Vector Capital. “The combination, integration and platform created will enable continued investment, support and growth for the combined company.”
The combined holding company will retain the individual Freedom and Optelec brands and product portfolio as the two businesses work on the integration and realization of all the anticipated customer benefits.
About Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific is a leading worldwide provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. Freedom Scientific is headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida with offices in Switzerland. The Company’s products have been translated into 24 languages and are available in more than 70 countries.
Optelec is a leading global distributor, designer and manufacturer of life-changing assistive technologies for people who are visually impaired and blind. Optelec is headquartered in Barendrecht, the Netherlands with offices in the US, Belgium, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom, offering multi-tier distribution in more than 70 countries worldwide.
About Vector Capital
Vector Capital is a leading global private equity firm with over $2.5 billion under management specializing in transformational investments in established technology businesses. Vector actively partners with founders and management teams to devise and execute new financial and business strategies that materially improve the competitive standing of these businesses and enhance their value for employees, customers and shareholders. Among Vector’s notable investments are Aladdin Knowledge Systems, Allegro Development, Cambium Networks, Certara, ChyronHego, CollabNet, Corel, IPVALUE Management, LANDesk Software, Niku, Gerber Scientific, RAE Systems, Register.com, Saba Software, SafeNet, Technicolor, Teletrac, Tidel, Triton Digital, WatchGuard Technologies, and WinZip. For more information, please visit www.vectorcapital.com.
Jonathan Gasthalter/John Christiansen
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Phone: (212) 687-8080 / (415) 618-8750