Essilor Announces Partnerships and Acquisition Stakes in U.S., Canada and Brazil

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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France— Essilor International (ESSI.PA) said it is pursuing its strategy of forging local partnerships with the signing of six new transactions in the U.S., Canada and Brazil that represent combined full year revenue of approximately €38 million.

In the U.S., the company completed three new partnerships. Essilor acquired majority stakes in two prescription laboratories— R.D. Cherry in Michigan and Plunkett Optical in Arkansas—that generate revenue of $9.8 million and $3.3 million, respectively.

Essilor also acquired a majority share in Frame Displays, a company that designs, manufactures and distributes display furniture and accessories for optical stores, with revenue of $4.5 million.

In Canada, Essilor reported it strengthened its distribution network by signing a partnership agreement with Riverside Optical, a group of prescription laboratories that operates in Quebec and Ontario, with revenue of Canadian $26 million. The agreement will allow Riverside to enhance its product portfolio and speed the company's local development in the mid-range segment, Essilor said.

Essilor also forged partnerships with Benson Edwards Optical Lab and CPS 360 Optical Lab, two Ontario-based prescription laboratories with revenue of nearly Canadian $3 million.

Lastly, in Brazil, Essilor reinforced its geographic coverage with the signing of a partnership agreement with Comprol, which generates revenue of €5.4 million. This prescription laboratory is the company's first facility in the Federal District (Brasilia), whose 2.5 million inhabitants have the highest average income of any state in the country, Essilor noted.

Commenting on these new transactions, Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and CEO of Essilor, said: “With 27 new transactions, the partnership strategy was especially active in 2013, thereby enabling Essilor to strengthen its ties with eyecare professionals around the world and to deploy its mission of improving eyesight. In an optics market that remains highly fragmented, Essilor will continue to develop its regional deployment model, which is unique and creates value for the company’s shareholders.”