OBERKOCHEN, Germany — Zeiss will strengthen its activities in Russia, the Ukraine, the Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgia by acquiring a majority stake in the Optec Group, the long-standing sales and service partner responsible for this territory.

With this step, Zeiss is continuing and expanding its almost 115-year presence in the region. Optec is represented in the territory with approx. 300 employees and operates 16 subsidiaries and branches in seven countries. In the future the shares of the company will be jointly held by Carl Zeiss AG and the long-standing owner Family v. Korff. The shares of the former CEO and shareholder Maksym Igelnyk will be therefore fully acquired by Zeiss. Effective 1 January 2018, Optec will be led by Michael Hubensack (Zeiss) and Nicholas v. Korff.

Optec will retain its current sales and service organization to act as a solutions provider with its full portfolio of Zeiss and complementary third-party products.

Thomas Spitzenpfeil, CFO and CIO of Carl Zeiss AG, commented on the transition as follows: "We see Russia, the CIS countries, the Ukraine and Georgia as markets with promising and sustainable growth potential despite political challenges. Our new role as the majority shareholder in the Optec Group is a manifestation of our strong engagement in this region. It underlines our trust in our local partners, the customers and the entire Optec team. Customers and partners, both old and new, will benefit from the new setup."

For more information, visit zeiss.com.