PARIS — Eyewear is à la mode these days.
This story first appeared in the December 18, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
French eyewear maker Alain Mikli International said Thursday it has acquired French sunglasses manufacturer Vuarnet. Alain Mikli International injected 4 million euros, or $5.7 million at current exchange, into Sporoptic Pouilloux, which holds the license for Vuarnet’s sunglasses. That gave Mikli a 75 percent share of the business. The remaining 25 percent stake is held by Joseph Hatchiguian, Sporoptic Pouilloux’s co-founder and, until now, majority shareholder.
Vuarnet employs about 50 people and generates annual sales of 10 million euros, or $14.3 million.
Prior to the acquisition, 80 percent of Mikli’s business came from corrective glasses, with the remainder from sunglasses.
In other eyewear news, French ophthalmic optical products maker Essilor International has agreed to acquire FGX International Holding Ltd., an American designer and marketer of nonprescription reading glasses and sunglasses, for $565 million in cash. This includes the repayment of FGX’s net debt of about $100 million. The deal is expected to close in 2010.