Luxottica to Become Minority Financial Partner in Italy’s Salmoiraghi & Vigano Retail Group

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MILAN— Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX), along with Salmoiraghi & Vigano S.p.A. and Salmoiraghi & Vigano Holding S.R.L, the sole shareholder of Salmoiraghi & Vigano, announced an agreement yesterday under which Luxottica will subscribe for newly issued shares of Salmoiraghi & Vigano resulting in a 36 percent equity stake in the Italian optical retailer.

The transaction, which is valued at €45 million, is aimed at providing Salmoiraghi & Vigano with the resources required to re-establish its financial resources and to support its future growth, a statement from Luxottica said. “In the last few years, the Italian eyewear sector has undergone many important changes,” commented Andrea Guerra, CEO of Luxottica. “With this investment, we aim to provide the sector's leading Italian chain with additional resources and allow it to pursue its growth projects. Luxottica will become a financial partner while operations will remain with Salmoiraghi & Vigano. This transaction demonstrates our commitment to finding solutions for our business partners, providing concrete support to the market and looking optimistically to the future of our country.”

“This partnership,” added Dino Tabacchi, chairman and major shareholder of Salmoiraghi & Vigano, “represents a great opportunity for our company, with its history dating back over 150 years and a network of approximately 500 sales outlets in Italy, to strengthen our brand in the Italian market. We are extremely delighted to enter into an arrangement with Luxottica, which will allow us to carry on with our company's development plans.”

Salmoiraghi & Vigano is a leading Italian company in the eyewear retail sector and owns approximately 500 stores across Italy. For the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2012, the company posted annual net sales of approximately €170 million.

Under the agreement, Luxottica and Salmoiraghi & Vigano Holding, starting in 2017, will have the right to exercise a call option to acquire the shares both companies do not own. The transaction is also subject to satisfaction of customary conditions, including obtaining regulatory approval in Italy.