Mitsui Acquires SunSensors from Corning

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TOKYO— Mitsui Chemicals (TOKYO:4183), a leading supplier of high-index plastic lens materials, announced yesterday that it acquired Corning’s (NYSE:GLW) SunSensors operations, which provides technology used to make the SunSensors brand of plastic photochromic lenses. The sale price was not disclosed.

The move positions Mitsui as a direct competitor to Essilor, which last month acquired full control of Transitions Optical, the leading supplier of plastic photochromic lenses as reported by VMail.

Mitsui said in a statement that it intends to aggressively develop and sell competitive new photochromic lens materials.

“Our expertise in monomer technology coupled with Corning’s expertise in dye technology allows us an opportunity to reinvigorate the brand,” Woody Muire, marketing manager of Mitsui Chemicals America in Rye Brook, N.Y., told VMail.

Mitsui Chemicals offers high to low refractive index ophthalmic lens material and coatings including the widely used MR series of thin, light and durable high-index plastic materials.

Corning pioneered photochromic glass lenses with the launch of its Photogray line in 1968. The company launched the SunSensors brand in the late 1990s.