Safilo Group inked a deal today with StyleMark Group to acquire its Polaroid Eyewear business for 65 million euros, or $87.5 million.
The deal, which is expected to close during the first quarter of 2012, will add to Safilo’s portfolio of proprietary brands, comprising of Carrera, Smith Optics, Oxydo and Blue Bay, as well as complement its stable of licensed brands, which include Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Dior.
“The size of the polarizing eyewear market is rising steadily as more and more consumers realize the benefits and the value of glare-free vision,” said Safilo chief executive officer Roberto Vedovotto. “More importantly we are taking a further step towards what we define as a great growth opportunity for our group, Safilo’s own brands, and we are really excited to add Polaroid to the Safilo brands division, covering the specialist market segment where Safilo is presently not operating.”
Polaroid Eyewear, which is expected to rake in $63 million in sales — and earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization of $8.8 million in 2011 — will give Safilo a strong foothold in markets outside of Europe.”
Known for its polarized lens technology, Polaroid has offices in the U.K., Switzerland, the U.S., Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, China and Russia, as well as a network of global distribution partners.
In order to finance the deal, Safilo’s board approved a bridge loan and capital increase reserved for the subscription by its main shareholder, Multibrands Italy BV, which is controlled by HAL Holding NV.
Safilo and Multibrands have finalized a loan agreement and are in the process of finalizing an investment and underwriting a deal, in which Multibrands will provide Safilo with financial support, amounting to at least two thirds of the purchase price for the acquisition, to partially fund the deal.
As a result, Multibrands will loan Safilo about 44 million euros, or $59.4 million at current exchange. The remaining 21 million euros, or $28.3 million, will be financed by Safilo through already available cash and/or credit facilities.
The Safilo deal comes a day after the group lost the Giorgio Armani eyewear license to rival Luxottica Group.