MILAN — Luxottica Group is in the process of merging with French lens maker Essilor SA, but this is not stopping it from further building its structure. The giant Italian eyewear producer is acquiring leading optical glass sun lens manufacturer Barberini SpA for about 140 million euros. The transaction is expected to be finalized by the third quarter of 2018.
“With the acquisition of Barberini we add another gem to our brands, a name that is well known throughout the industry and synonymous with top quality, innovation and Made in Italy,” said Leonardo Del Vecchio, executive chairman of Luxottica. “Barberini will allow us to strengthen our technological leadership in sun and ophthalmic lenses and opens great development opportunities for the future.”
Barberini has been providing optical glass lenses for luxury eyewear collections including Luxottica’s Ray-Ban and Persol brands. Founded by Pietro Barberini in 1963, the company has developed new technologies and patents designed to improve its sun and ophthalmic lenses. Advancements have been made to characteristics such as thickness, weight, resistance and transparency while enhancing vivid and saturated colors, also thanks to the application in the glass melting processes of special oxides (“Terre Rare”). With sales of about 85 million euros, the company controls its entire manufacturing chain, from raw materials to finished lenses, with industrial sites in Italy’s Abruzzo region, a plant in Germany for glass melting, and advanced technologies for the production of polarizing films for sun lenses.
Luxottica produces eyewear under license for names including the Giorgio Armani Group, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Prada and Versace and also has a number of owned brands, such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol. In 2017, it reported sales of 9.15 billion euros, up 0.8 percent from the previous year.
As reported, Luxottica and Essilor, the leading maker of lenses worldwide, have agreed to a 46 billion euro, or $48.7 billion, merger to form an eyewear powerhouse with annual sales of more than 15 billion euros. Luxottica and Essilor combined will have more than 140,000 employees and sales in more than 150 countries.
In the new entity, Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio will serve as executive chairman and chief executive officer and Hubert Sagnières, Essilor’s chairman and ceo, will become executive vice chairman and deputy ceo. Del Vecchio and Sagnières will also keep their positions of executive chairman of Luxottica and chairman and ceo of Essilor International, respectively.