Essilor International has acquired a 50 percent stake in Xiamen Yarui Optical Company, China's leading supplier of mid-range sunglasses. The company designs and manufactures non-prescription sunglasses that are sold in China under various brands, including Bolon and Molsion, two of the country's best known brands of sunglasses.

In 2012, Xiamen Yarui Optical, which has a staff of 850, generated revenues of about €42 million. The company has a plant in Xiamen, in south-eastern China. Its products are sold mainly to Chinese eyecare professionals and department stores in some 30,000 outlets throughout the country.

Sales of non-prescription sunglasses in China are estimated at over 50 million pairs per year, with growth in the double digits, out of a global market of 450 million pairs per year that is growing approximately twice as fast as the corrective lens industry.

Meanwhile, FGX International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Essilor, has completed the acquisition of Vancouver-based Suntech Optics, a company that generates annual revenues of around US$15 million. This acquisition, which is meant to reinforce FGX' position as a leading provider of non-prescription sunglasses and over-the-counter reading glasses in the North American market, also includes the purchase of Naked Eye Enterprises and Bugaboos Eyewear Corporation. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Suntech is a 41-year-old company selling sunglasses and reading glasses under proprietary brands including Infokus and Solair, primarily to retailers in the drug, grocery and mass channels of distribution. Its products are distributed in over 2,800 retail outlets throughout Canada.

Bugaboos Eyewear, established 29 years ago and targeting the sport channel, is the marketer of Ryders Eyewear, a brand in the performance eyewear category that addresses mainly mountain bikers with a wide range of tinted, polarized and photochromic sunglasses. The brand is sold in more than 1,800 retailer locations in North America, South America and Europe. It should complement nicely two other brands recently acquired by Essilor - Costa in the U.S. and Bolon in China.

Based in Smithfield, Rhode Island, FGX already has a large portfolio of eyewear brands comprising Foster Grant, Sight Station, Magnivision, Gargoyles, Anarchy, Corinne McCormack, SolarShield and PolarEyes, as well as licensed brands including Ironman, Body Glove, Disney, Field & Stream, Dockers, Reebok, Nine West, NASCAR, and Panama Jack. The company has other offices in New York City, San Luis Obispo, California, in the U.S.; Toronto, Canada; Milan, Italy; Stoke-on-Trent, England; Mexico City, Mexico and Shenzhen, China.