Case study

Duncan & Todd: Regional expansion through buy and build

Optical provider sets it sights on further acquisitions following six in the first 12 months of secondary buyout.

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Sector
  • Healthcare
  • Retail & consumer

The Duncan & Todd Group is the largest privately-owned optician and hearing care chain in Scotland.

Employees: 450

Deal type
  • Secondary buyout
LDC Region

Duncan & Todd is the largest privately-owned optician and hearing care chain in Scotland, employing more than 250 people across its national network and at its state-of-the-art ophthalmic lens laboratory, Caledonian Optical, in Aberdeen.

As well as operating through chains, Duncan & Todd provides outsourced corporate eye care services to more than 200 public and private sector customers, through its Smart Employee Eyecare brand.

Audiology footprint

In March 2018, Frances Rus and her management team secured a £15m investment from LDC in a deal which saw Duncan & Todd’s existing backer, BGF, exit its minority stake.

With our investment and support, the management team has embarked on the next stage of its ambitious growth strategy, identifying complementary acquisitions to further expand the business’s geographical footprint.

The growth plan also involved the roll-out of new complementary healthcare services including audiology following the appointment of Duncan & Todd’s first Head of Audiology with, further growth planned in this team.

LDC’s investment will provide both the financial backing and strategic support to allow us to expand capacity in some of our existing stores, roll out audiology nationally and make selective further acquisitions, helping us to take Duncan & Todd to the next level and bring our market-leading services to a larger customer base.”
Frances Rus, CEO
Duncan & Todd

Under one roof

Since the investment, Duncan & Todd has completed six acquisitions, bringing the total number of branches to 41 across Scotland, from the Borders and central belt to the Highlands and Islands.

In November 2019, the business announced positive results for the year ending 31 March 2019, turnover increased by 15 per cent from £17m in the previous financial year to £19m. The accounts showed almost £1m has also been invested in store refits to align the look and feel of the acquired practices with the Duncan & Todd brand.