PPG sells stake in photochromic lens unit to Essilor for $1.73 bln

July 29 Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:05am EDT

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July 29 (Reuters) - PPG Industries Inc will sell its 51 percent stake in photochromic lens unit Transitions Optical to its partner, France's Essilor International, for $1.73 billion, PPG said on Monday.

Essilor, an ophthalmic optics company, already holds 49 percent interest in the company. The U.S. specialised chemicals company said it would look to redeploy the proceeds in core business acquisitions and share repurchases.

Chief Executive Charles E. Bunch said PPG, which previously suspended repurchases of shares due to the ongoing negotiations, was restarting its programme with range of $500 million to $750 million repurchases for the year.

Monday's transaction has an enterprise value of about $3.4 billion, with PPG receiving cash at closing of $1.73 billion pre-tax or about $1.5 billion after-tax.

In 2012, Transitions Optical had net sales of about $800 million.

Hubert Sagnières, Essilor's chief executive, said the acquisition of Transitions Optical "is fully aligned with Essilor's strategy." (Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; editing by Patrick Graham)

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