Safilens, a 12-year-old Italian producer of contact lenses, has been acquired by an Italian pharmaceutical group, Bruno Farmaceutici, at an undisclosed price. Bruno Farmaceutici, which has a very wide product range and turned over €61 million in 2011, was in turn acquired in 1996 by Antonio Bruno – now chairman of the group – bringing it into the Gruppo Lepetit. Lepetit is part of a big pharmaceutical multinational, Sanofi-Aventis.
Safilens was established in November 2000 by Fernando Garbellotto and Alessandro Filippo to produce contact lenses and accessories. Until March 2004 the group worked in collaboration with Safilo –hence the company's name - but at that point the two founders decided to continue their activity alone. As a result of the recent acquisition, Garbellotto has left the company, while Filippo remains in charge of R&D. Vittorio Bruno, son of the founder, has been appointed managing director of Safilens.
In 2011, the company booked a turnover of over €8.5 million, 75 percent of which was accounted for by domestic sales. Safilens has 10 exclusive agents on its home territory selling to around 2,500 optical outlets. Sales outside Italy are entrusted to optical chains or specialist distributors. The rest of Europe, the Middle East, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel are the company's leading export markets, and the Italian brand has been present on the U.S. market since 2009.
Safilens plans to establish new subsidiaries in the U.K., Spain and Scandinavia. The company is currently looking to consolidate and expand its export markets worldwide, with a careful reorganization of its sales network and the strategic introduction of products into new markets, partly through private labels.