Statement of the Rausnitz Family on the Sale of Meopta
With the announcement of its agreement to be acquired by Carlyle, Meopta begins a new chapter in its storied 90-year history. The Czech optical technology company based out of Prerov, begins its tenth decade with a new partnership that will pave the way for its continued growth and success long into the future.
Meopta rode the tides of the tumultuous 20th century as a producer of optics in the form of components, consumer products and defence equipment. After the fall of the iron current, Meopta was part of a wave of privatizations, and it was eventually purchased by the Rausnitz family. Paul Rausnitz was born in the Czech Republic but emigrated to the United States after the Second World War where he worked with his brother’s W supplier for digital cinema projector systems in Europe.
Building on that success, Meopta shifted its focus to high technology applications, making investments in technology and equipment to support its strong R&D and technical staff. This decision laid the foundation for Meopta’s entry into the semiconductor industry, which was an initiative spearheaded by Gerry Rausnitz. As these investments took root, its industrial, semiconductor, and medical businesses grew dramatically, eventually becoming the largest business units. During that time Meopta continued to support its legacy businesses including optical components and sport optics, alongside its burgeoning technology business.
With the passing of Paul Rausnitz in 2018, Gerry Rausnitz became the principal owner of the business along with his son David. Under Gerry’s leadership, the business doubled down on its focus on high tech applications while shifting its internal focus to profitability through operational efficiency. This transformation was accelerated with the 2020 covid crisis that required drastic action to maintain the integrity of the business. During that difficult period, Gerry appointed Alena Moore as CEO and tasked her with implementing a dramatic efficiency and technology program. Alena, Gerry’s long-time chief of staff, had a strong pedigree in operational excellence, having served at companies such as Siemens, Ingersoll Rand, and Johnson & Johnson before joining Meopta. Upon taking the job, Alena got right to work, focusing on products and markets with high value-add, and bringing efficiency practices into production. The result is a dramatic growth in sales and profitability. Spurred by these changes, Meopta was one of the few companies that was able to deliver throughout the pandemic despite global supply chain disruptions.
With this rapid growth, Meopta’s owners and management began to discuss how to bring the company to the next level both financially and technologically. Ultimately, they decided that the best strategy would be to seek a partner. In their search ownership was guided by their values and family tradition. Gerry and David both value their Czech roots and the local community and it was important to them that any transaction help all stakeholders including employees, the town of Prerov, and the Czech Republic. They believe that a strong and growing Meopta is good for all these stakeholders and ultimately, they found a partner in Carlyle that shares these values and has the knowledge, experience, and capital to bring Meopta to the next level and establish a global technology powerhouse in the Czech Republic.
The Rausnitz family is excited to be staying on as a minority shareholders and continue supporting Meopta’s long term growth alongside it's majority partner Carlyle.