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Based in Barendrecht, the Netherlands, Optelec is the leading distributor, designer and manufacturer of life-changing assistive technologies for people who are visually impaired or blind. Leveraging a multi-tier distribution network covering more than 70 countries, Optelec is the world market leader in low vision with a c20% global market share.

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Cobepa sells its stake in Optelec

Optelec will merge with Freedom Scientific to create the world’s largest assistive technology provider for the visually impaired

Solutions providing for independency and quality of life

The company's flagship, the ClearView Plus line, magnifies text and photos to over 56 times, bringing life back into focus for those living with Low Vision by incorporating product intelligence with a sleek modular design. The Alva series of Braille terminals provide Braille users with complete control of their laptop or desktop computer from a selection of Braille displays which excel in ingenuity, durability, and affordability. The user-friendly, wireless EasyLink Braille series guarantees portable cellular phone and PDA access for active participation within the mainstream global information community.

Global distribution and sales network

Sales offices have been established in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and the company supports a strong distribution network throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. This unmatched position in distribution creates strong barriers to entry.

Supported by American Associations of Opthalmologists, Optometrists and Occupational Therapists, Optelec has also launched LowVision.com, the first ever information and referral hub for the visually impaired. Optelec has also launched the first ever low vision e-commerce website (ShopLowVision.com) aligned with the best practices model for low vision rehabilitation (AOA, AOTA, AER).

Exit in 2015

Cobepa held a 38% equity stake in Optelec, alongside NPM Capital and the management.

The company was sold to Vector Capital in November 2015 to merge with Freedom Scientific, creating the world’s largest assistive technology provider for the visually impaired.

Cobepa S.A.

Cobepa S.A.
Rue de la Chancellerie 2, box 1
1000 Brussels
+ 32 2 213 32 10
+ 32 2 513 17 02

Cobepa North America Inc.

Cobepa North America Inc.
Tower 49
12 East 49th Street
New York, NY 10017
United States
+1 (646) 679 5177

Ibel Beteiligungsberatung GmbH (Member of Cobepa Group)

Ibel Beteiligungsberatung GmbH
Theresienstrasse 1
80333 München
+32 2 213 32 10