MILAN — Marcolin said Thursday it has agreed to acquire Viva International, the North American eyewear company that produces and distributes the frames of a number of brands, including Gant by Michael Bastian, Guess by Marciano, Bongo, Candie’s, Catherine Deneuve, Gant, Gant Rugger, Guess, Harley-Davidson, Rampage, Skechers, William Rast, Viva, Magic Clip and Saavy.
Viva International is owned by privately held holding company HVHC Inc., which also controls Davis Vision and Visionworks of America.
The Italian eyewear manufacturer and HVHC signed a stock purchase agreement, which will allow the two companies to finalize the acquisition in the next few months.
“Today we announced some really exciting changes for Marcolin USA, to build off of our momentum and success, and to strengthen our ability to grow in the American market,” said Fabrizio Gamberini chief executive officer of Marcolin USA. “Our acquisition of Viva is a perfect way to improve our connection to customers and consumers, within North and South America. We’re about to step up our game.”
“We are [pleased] about the possibilities that this acquisition will bring to Viva’s customers and we look forward to developing a strong, strategic business relationship with Marcolin,” said David Holmberg, president and ceo of HVHC, which is the third largest provider of optical products and service, and the third largest operator of optical retail stores in the U.S.
This operation is part of the strategic business plan of European private equity Pai Partners, which last December, through its indirectly controlled company Cristallo SpA, finalized the acquisition of a majority stake in Marcolin for 207 million euros, or $273 million at average exchange rates.
Pai Partners currently controls 85 percent of the company, while the remaining shares are owned by brothers Diego and Andrea Della Valle, the Marcolin family and Antonio Abete.
Marcolin produces and distributes the eyewear collections of a number of international fashion labels, such as Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Montblanc, Roberto Cavalli, Tod’s, Swarovski, DSquared2, Diesel, 55DSL, Just Cavalli, Cover Girl, Kenneth Cole New York, Kenneth Cole Reaction and Timberland. The company also operates three house brands, including Marcolin, National and Web.
According to Marcolin ceo Giovanni Zoppas, the acquisition of Viva International will enable the company to reinforce its business in the U.S., balancing its presence worldwide. “Europe accounts for 44 percent of Marcolin business, while the U.S. accounts for 57 percent of Viva’s business,” he said. “With this acquisition, our business will be equally divided through Europe, the United States and the rest of the world, in particular the BRIC area.”
By acquiring Viva International, Marcolin, which is more focused on the luxury segment with Tom Ford as its leading brand, will also enlarge its portfolio with strong diffusion labels, in particular Guess — currently Viva International’s most successful line. In addition, the Italian company will increase the sales of optical frames, which according to Zoppas, will soon account for 55 percent of the company’s total business.
Marcolin also expects to almost triple its sales — last year the Italian company sold about 5.5 million eyeglasses, while Viva International sold 8.5 million pieces. “In addition, [by] acquiring Viva International, Marcolin will be present in about 15,000 doors across the United States,” said Raffaele Roberto Vitale, partner of Pai Partners.
Zoppas said that Marcolin will produce the Guess by Marciano line in Italy, while the rest of brands that are currently part of Viva International’s portfolio will continue to be manufactured in China, “where we will have an incredible contractual leverage,” he said.
Although Zoppas declined to forecast sales, he said that this acquisition is expected to guarantee Marcolin high-single-digit growth in the first year. In 2012, Marcolin and Viva International posted revenues of 215 million euros, or $296.8 million at average exchange rates, and 147 million euros, or $203 million, respectively.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)