A business which started from scratch in Twickenham over 25 years ago has now been sold to an American company for £700 million pounds.
Alan Wells will now become one of the richest men in the world after selling the business to American company Cooper Vision for $1.2 billion pounds. Alan should pocket £280 million pounds from the deal because of his 40% share in the company.
Alan founded Sauflon Pharmaceuticals in 1985. He originally only sold aftercare solution but over time noticed contact lenses were becoming much more popular, expanded and now have the largest selection of products in the market. In fact, within a decade of the company’s beginnings the business was performing tremendously well and had factories in London, Kent and Hungary.
Sauflon now also have a factory in Southampton, which produces over 100 million contact lenses every year, as well as being the centre of Sauflon’s research and development team.
More comfortable silicone hydrogel lenses were invented in 1998 and Mr Wells decided to branch out to stock these too. This shrewd move meant they became the biggest pharmaceutical company in the industry.
They are now one of only 4 companies that make aftercare and lenses and the Sauflon products are sold in over 50 different countries around the world and supply companies like Specsavers.
Disposable contact lenses are incredibly popular in UK and Europe but aren’t as liked in America, and it is hoped that selling Sauflon products in the USA will help it grow.
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I launched The Best of Richmond in 2005 and am passionate about supporting all things local. In particular, we work hard to showcase the best local businesses who give the borough its character and make...