Stockport-based Pennine, which imports and distributes frames and cases, has acquired Birmingham-based Lessar for an undisclosed sum. The deal means the 81-year-old family wholesaler will be integrated into its north west rival. An unspecified number of jobs will be lost, but the combined company plans to expand Lessar's Lesbro branded frames, cases and accessories. Commenting on the acquisition, Pennine Optical Group chairman, Peter Cowan, said: 'It is a small industry and I have known the chairman Warren Lessar for a number of years. We talked about the possibility of a sale in recent months because he felt he wanted to extricate himself from full-time employment.' Mr Cowan said: 'It's the way the industry is developing. There is going to be business consolidation. This is a natural marriage between companies with similar product ranges. We are a very large frame company and plan to cross-sell frames with Lessar products and integrate the case businesses.' Pennine has not acquired Lessar Brothers in totality, only the parts which are relevant to its business, and has transferred the operation to its Stockport site. Mr Cowan said that the Lessar customer base would move to Pennine Optical Group and it would be incorporated. 'Part of Pennine's strategy is to acquire successful complementary established businesses where there is growth potential,' he said. 'The acquisition of Lessars presents an exciting oppor-tunity to expand its growing spectacle case business and introduce its comprehensive fashion frame products to an enlarged customer base. 'Pennine continues to explore further specialist optical acqu- isition opportunities both in the UK and in continental Europe.'