eye talk

Media Release 21 May 2014

 ODMA and Eye Talk are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached for the sale of the
business Eye Talk Consultants to the Optical Distributors & Manufacturers Association (ODMA).
The change of ownership is expected to be completed in August 2014 and the current principals of
Eye Talk will continue to be involved in the operation of the business for some years, although this will
be to lessening degrees over time.
Eye Talk was established by Margaret McCann and Tony Hanks in 1980 when they realised that eye
care practitioners had a need for a reliable source of comprehensive product information. It has
subsequently continued to be owned and operated by them for the last 34 years. Their decision to now
offer the business for sale for the first time is based upon their need for a plan for transition to a future
retirement, while also ensuring that the Eye Talk services will be ongoing. ODMA’s decision to buy the
business is a welcome and exciting opportunity for the future of Eye Talk.
ODMA is the peak representative body for wholesalers, importers and manufacturers of frames,
lenses, sunglasses, equipment and accessories. ODMA believes the purchase is an outstanding fit
because Eye Talk caters for the independent optometry market on which ODMA’s members rely and
because the reference content is mainly populated by ODMA’s members. The identity of Eye Talk will
be retained but the magazine will gradually be absorbed into ODMA so that the two are synonymous
with each other. ODMA recognizes a great opportunity to use the magazine to promote ODMA and its
Margaret McCann commented that an important factor in their decision was the need to protect Eye
Talk’s long-term subscribers who rely upon the information that Eye Talk provides; especially the
digital data download service. For this reason ODMA was Eye Talk’s preferred purchaser because
they represent the widest range of suppliers, and subscribers can be guaranteed continued
independence in the listings.
The timing of this acquisition is fortuitous in terms of ODMA’s strategic direction as the structure of Eye
Talk will lend much needed administrative support to ODMA. A full time manager reporting to ODMA’s
CEO Finola Carey will be appointed in the next few months.
All current staff will be continuing in the Eye Talk business and no significant changes are expected in
the operations. The Eye Talk staff are very enthusiastic about the future with the new owners and they
look forward to continuing to provide the same high level of service, that has always been associated
with Eye Talk.
Margaret McCann and Tony Hanks have expressed their sincere thanks to their subscribers, the
advertising suppliers and the Eye Talk staff. The Eye Talk Reference Guide is widely recognised as
being important to optometrists, dispensers and practice staff, so everybody involved in its’ production
has taken the responsibility to provide accurate information very seriously.
The sale of Eye Talk to ODMA includes the Reference Guide, the Digital Data Download Service, the
Progressive Lens Guide and all other current services.
The Chairman of ODMA, Richard Grills said that ODMA is very excited to embark on this new era for
the independent optical market in Australia. He added “Margaret and Tony are first class individuals
who have built a great business. They have shown their support and belief in Eye Talk by agreeing to
remain involved and we are delighted to have them on board. In addition, we are pleased that all staff
will remain in place after the sale. We look forward to a long working relationship with Finola Carey,
ODMA’s CEO, ensuring continuation of successful stewardship of this unique business.”
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