Rodenstock to accelerate international growth with new management

Rodenstock Group confirmed today that CEO Dr. Olaf Göttgens has resigned today from his office as CEO of Rodenstock at his own request.

With immediate effect Peter Körfer-Schün, long-serving chief executive of Grohe AG, is appointed as advisor to the company on the continued implementation of the company’s growth strategy – most notably with regard to the expansion of its market leadership in the high-end sector and to diversify its product range by expanding the brand portfolio.

While the appointment of a new CEO takes place, the remaining members of the executive management board, Dr. Johannes Burtscher (CFO), Dr. Michael Kleer (COO) and Marc Oliver Schneider (CSO), will assume the responsibilities of Dr. Göttgens in an interim capacity.

The management changes have been endorsed by Bridgepoint, majority shareholder in the Rodenstock Group, and are being made as the company and Bridgepoint enter constructive refinancing negotiations with the banking syndicate about a new capital structure for the business.

John Jetter, Chairman of the Rodenstock supervisory board, commented the changes announced: “Dr. Göttgens had recognized the great potential of the Rodenstock brand and pointed the company in the right direction through the signing of new licensing partnerships and moves to interpret the latest fashion trends. We thank him for the commitment displayed to the company. In the future, the development potential of Rodenstock as a technology leader of outstanding optical lenses of high quality must be strengthened internationally and new growth in the area of frames realized. We see the new discussions with the banking consortium with the goal to provide fresh equity, and the deleveraging this facilitates, as a major opportunity to extend our brand portfolio and capture new growth opportunities under new leadership.“

Following what has proved to be a challenging year for the entire industry in 2009, Rodenstock has witnessed a sustained reversal in market economics. Current trading has further improved throughout 2010. Year-to-date sales and EBITDA are ahead 5.1% and 8% respectively and net cash-flow is ahead of the previous year. The company remains cash-positive, its liquidity reserves having at no time been in doubt.

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