Opal has acquired a 60 percent stake in the capital of Demetz, the French sports eyewear specialist, for an undisclosed amount, with plans to acquire an additional 20 percent in four years and the remaining 20 percent by 2020. Gilles Demetz will remain chief executive until all his shares are sold.
Based in Lyon, Opal specializes in children's eyewear frames and intends, through this acquisition, to expand into sports eyewear. The company said it expects to bring Demetz' sales, which currently amount to €4.4 million, up to €8 million by 2020. In order to do that, Demetz will start marketing its products internationally, where it will come across major competitors such as Oakley, Bollé and Cébé. This is why it will reinforce its sales department by hiring four new salespeople and two new administrative employees for the department.
Opal sells around 2.6 million frames per year, of which 1.6 million are “Owlet Opal” frames, which refers to the offer of a free second pair. The company, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, holds 11 licenses for children's eyewear in France including Hello Kitty, which sells around 89,000 frames each year, Disney Princess, Tartine & Chocolat and Lulu Castagnette.
Opal's sales reportedly amounted to €22.5 million last year. International sales were 20 percent of the total, and the group plans to double this figure within three years. The company intends to reinforce its position particularly in Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe. Last year it opened a branch in Hong Kong. For 2015, Opal is aiming at a turnover of €30 million.