| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 9 Thomas H. Lee Partners is
looking for a $585 million financing package backing its
leveraged buyout (LBO) of 1-800 CONTACTS, sources
told Thomson Reuters LPC.
The loan facilities consist of a $60 million revolving
credit, a $400 million first-lien term loan, and a $125 million
second-lien term loan.
WellPoint, which owns the company, and 1-800 CONTACTS did
not return calls for comment.
The revolver and first-lien loan will be offered to
investors at a bank meeting on January 14, the same sources
said. The bank meeting has been set for 2 p.m. ET in New York
The second-lien term loan will not be offered at the meeting
and will be sold privately, sources added.
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are leading the financing.
Health-benefit company WellPoint announced Tuesday plans to
sell its online contact lens retail subsidiary 1-800 CONTACTS to
the private equity firm.
WellPoint said in a press release that proceeds from the
sale of 1-800 CONTACTS will support WellPoint's capital
deployment strategies, as the company focuses on core growth
opportunities as it prepares for coming changes to the health
WellPoint, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield in 14
states, is streamlining its business as it faces potential
headwinds such as cuts to Medicare reimbursement, and
uncertainty related to Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)
WellPoint also plans to sell glasses.com and its virtual
eyewear try-on technology to Luxottica, a Milan, Italy-based
luxury and sports eyewear company.
The 1-800 CONTACTS and Luxottica transactions are expected
to close in the first quarter of 2014.