* Says to buy Brazil eyewear group Tecnol for 110 mln eur
* Acquisition to be completed by 2015
* Shares broadly flat, in line with Milan blue-chips
MILAN, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Italy’s Luxottica, the world’s No. 1 eyewear maker, confirmed on Thursday it agreed to buy Brazilian eyewear maker Tecnol for around 110 million euros to increase its foothold in one of the world’s fastest-growing luxury markets.
Following earlier media reports, the maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses said on Thursday that the deal would allow it to produce locally, thus cutting the heavy import duties that weigh on many foreign luxury makers coming to Brazil.
“Brazil is one of the countries where Luxottica aims at being as ‘domestic’ as it is in Italy,” Chief Executive Andrea Guerra said in a statement.
Under the deal, which is due to be finalised by early 2012, Luxottica will initially buy 80 percent of the Brazilian company, and the remainder over the next four years.
The maker of sunglasses for top brands such as Prada and Tiffany aims to double its revenues in Latin America to 360 million euros next year, Guerra told Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper on Thursday.
Luxottica is one of several luxury goods makers moving to buy manufacturers and distribution partners in key markets, as they aim to reduce production costs and speed up deliveries.
Prada is backing the initial public offering of Hong Kong’s Sitoy Group, which makes handbags and leather goods for the Italian fashion house and other brands.
Tecnol, which has a production plant and a retail network in Brazil, has an enterprise value of around 110 million euros.
The deal follows the acquisition by Luxottica of optical retail Multiopticas International this year, along with two retail chains in Mexico.
Luxottica said it expects Brazil to become one of the top five countries for its wholesale division, as it looks to expand in China, India, Mexico and Turkey.
The luxury market in Brazil is worth 2.3 billion euros and has been growing at an annual rate of 45 percent over the last eight years, according to Italy’s luxury goods association Altagamma and U.S. consultancy Bain & Co.
Shares in Luxottica were flat at 21.32 euros by 0942 GMT, in line with Milan’s blue-chip market