Essilor Pursues Its Growth Strategy by Signing Eight New Partnerships

Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:30am EDT

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Essilor Pursues Its Growth Strategy by Signing Eight New Partnerships

  • Strengthening of the Prescription Laboratory Network in Brazil
  • Acquisition of Polarized Film Technology
  • Completion of Two Major Transactions in Colombia and Turkey

Regulatory News:

Actively pursuing its growth strategy, Essilor International (Paris:EI) has signed 8 transactions to acquire operations in the United States, Brazil, South Africa, India and Asia representing combined annual revenue of around €30 million. These local partnerships are key growth strategy drivers for Essilor which, in a still largely under-penetrated eyecare market, is committed to delivering better visual health to people around the world.

In the United States, the world’s largest ophthalmic optics market, a majority interest has been acquired in two prescription lens laboratories, Prodigy Optical in Oklahoma, with annual revenue of around $3.5 million, and e.magine Optical in Minnesota, with annual revenue of around $3 million.

In a still highly fragmented market, where demand for value-added products is still largely untapped, Essilor intends to continue developing local partnerships in a strategic drive to speed the spread of leading-edge technologies while at the same time strengthening its local foothold.

In Brazil, the Company is extending its geographic coverage by forging its first series of partnerships in the State of Minais Gerais, the country’s second largest State in terms of population, through the acquisition of a majority interest in two prescription laboratories based in Belo Horizonte, PSA Nilo and Optiminas, with annual revenue of €6.7 million and €3.7 million respectively.

Essilor’s Brazilian network now comprises 13 partner laboratories and a stock house, which offer a strong fit with its own manufacturing facilities.

In the sun lenses segment, Essilor has acquired a majority stake in Onbitt, a South Korean manufacturer of polarized films for ophthalmic lenses, which generates annual revenue of €5 million. Onbitt’s technological expertise will boost the Company’s innovation capabilities and enhance its polarized lens line-up.

The acquisition emphasizes Essilor’s ongoing interest in this fast-growing lens category. In addition to Xperio®, its flagship polarized lens brand, the Company recently acquired the exclusive license to manufacture and distribute the Polaroid® brand, enabling it to develop a range of high-quality, mid-range polarized lenses in the United States, Europe and the world’s main growth markets.

In Taiwan, Essilor has acquired a majority share in Shih Heng, a leading local lens distributor that has its own prescription laboratory and generates €6.5 million in annual revenue. Shih Heng will be in charge of developing the Kodak® and BBGR brands in Taiwan, thereby enabling the Company to strengthen its positions in the mid-range segment of this very active market. Shih Heng is the fourth distribution network operated by Essilor in the country.

In India, Essilor has acquired a majority stake in Deepak Optic, a wholesaler with annual revenue of around €1 million. Based in Surat, Deepak Optic is a well recognized player in the State of Gujarat, where it is Essilor’s long-time distributor.

Lastly, in South Africa, Essilor has acquired a majority interest in Spherical Optics, a prescription laboratory based in Johannesburg with around €2 million in annual revenue.

In addition, Essilor has completed the previously announced acquisitions of Servi Optica in Colombia (annual revenue: €29 million) and Isbir in Turkey (annual revenue: €15 million). The leading ophthalmic lens distributors in their markets, these companies have been consolidated since April 18 and May 14 respectively.

About Essilor

The world’s leading ophthalmic optics company, Essilor designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its corporate mission is to enable everyone around the world to access lenses that meet his or her unique vision requirements. To support this mission, the Company allocates more than €150 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. Essilor’s flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®, Definity®, Xperio®, OptifogTM and Foster Grant®. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals.

Essilor reported consolidated revenue of approximately €5 billion in 2012 and employs around 50,700 people. It operates in some 100 countries with 22 plants, more than 400 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world.

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The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in the Euro Stoxx 50 and CAC 40 indices.

Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI:FP.

Essilor International
Investor Relations and Financial Communication
Véronique Gillet – Sébastien Leroy – Ariel Bauer, +33 (0)1 49 77 42 16
Corporate Communication and Press
Maïlis Thiercelin, +33 (0)1 49 77 45 02