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.
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)