Essilor International has announced new acquisitions in seven countries over the past few days.
Notably, it reported today two partnerships agreements in China that will represent additional combined annual revenues of about €22 million. The French giant has acquired a majority stake in Jiangsu Youli Optics Co., a manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses in Danyang that generates around €15 million in revenue a year. Formerly called Governor Optical Co., the company employs nearly 1,000 people at three plants that make lenses for the domestic market and for export.
Essilor has also acquired a majority stake in another Chinese lens manufacturer, Jiangsu Seeworld Optical Co.., which has nearly €7 million in annual sales and over 300 employees. Adding to the investments recently made in two other Chinese lens manufacturers, Wanxin and ILT, these two new transactions will help to extend the group's presence in the important mid-range segment in China, while also making its offering more competitive in the rest of Asia.
Turning to Europe, the company has reported the acquisition of a majority interest in a Swiss prescription laboratory, Reize, which has been BBGR's distributor in the market for a long time. Equipped with high-tech machinery, it generates approximately €11 million in revenues and employs 60 people. The current management will be maintained.
Earlier this month, Essilor announced other joint venture agreements in Africa, South America and North America/the Caribbean.
In Africa, it has expanded its reach in Morocco with its new 65 percent stake in Optiben, a major ophthalmic lens distributor, as well as a 65 percent interest in VST Lab, a local prescription laboratory. Together, these two entities report revenues of about €4 million a year through their network of 14 local branches. They will manufacture and distribute BBGR branded products.
Heading east to Tunisia, Essilor has signed a deal for a majority interest in the prescription laboratory SIVO and its marketing subsidiary SICOM. SIVO is described as Tunisia's market leader, with subsidiaries in Algeria, Morocco, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo and Cameroon. It had sales of about €7 million last year. It will continue to manufacture and distribute Essilor, Varilux and Crizal branded products in Tunisia, as well as products under its own brand name in other countries.
Meanwhile, the Satisloh unit of Essilor, has bought a majority stake in Brazil's CM Equipamentos Opticos de Precisão, a manufacturer of ophthalmic lens surfacing machines. With 90 employees, it has annual turnover of about €8 million. Essilor says that Satisloh's technological expertise will be combined with CM's customer base to speed innovation and offer a wide range of machines, consumables and services to more labs throughout the region. Late in 2011, Essilor also set up a sales subsidiary in Colombia that will directly distribute Essilor's brands in the country.
Still in the Americas, Essilor has gotten its foot in the door in the Dominican Republic, where it has acquired a majority interest in Opti Express, a prescription lab with sales of about €2.5 million.
In the U.S., Essilor has acquired a majority stake in CSC Laboratories, a prescription laboratory based in California that is said to be the second-largest in the country. CSC has about 170 employees and generates annual revenue of almost $32 million. It distributes the industry's major brands. Its founding family, the Kims, will keep a minority interest. D.K. Kim, the founder, will continue to play a top role for three more years.
Lastly, Essilor has acquired Professional Ophthalmic Laboratories, a U.S. company in the state of Virginia with revenues of around $3 million. Its president, Diane Strickler, will maintain a management role at POL for three years.