Germany's Eschenbach Group has bought Tura, an American company that markets its own lines in the U.S. in addition to territorial licenses for the brands Ted Baker, Lulu Guinness, Tourneau and Goldfinch. Terms of the merger deal have been kept confidential.
Coupled with Eschenbach's acquisition of International Eyewear of the U.K. in 2008, this should boost the German group's sales to around €140 million or $210 million for 2010, up from just over €100 million this year, making it one of the world's ten major suppliers of prescription frames and sunglasses and placing it in a better position to negotiate new international licensing deals. Tura's precise turnover could not be determined, but it is said to be one of the five major eyewear companies in the U.S.
The acquisition will also broaden Eschenbach's presence in the important U.S. market. The company already distributes its own products in the U.S. through two subsidiaries, one for low-vision and technical optics that has been in operation since 1983 and another one for frames and sunglasses that dates back to 2001. Called BBH Eyewear, the latter subsidiary was previously the U.S. sales office of Brendel Lunettes, acquired in that same year, and Tura will now take over that operation.
Founded in New York in 1983, Tura is also active on the Canadian market. It will continue to operate as an autonomous company, and its sales network, distribution set-up and support staff will stay in place, as will its executive management, including John Weir as president.
Eschenbach was founded in 1913. Besides Brendel, its own brands include Crush, Fineline, Humphrey's, Oio and Titanflex. The company is licensed to sell Marc O'Polo and Bogner Eyes. It has subsidiaries in nine European countries as well as the U.S. and Japan.
The takeover of Tura is supported by Barclays Private Equity, which acquired a stake in Eschenbach in 2007.