Rodenstock has decided to concentrate its North American lens business on the premises of 2C Optics, the innovative manufacturer of prescription ophthalmic lenses based in Alpharetta, Georgia, which will be renamed as Rodenstock North America. The existing office of Rodenstock USA in Danbury, Connecticut, will concentrate on the spectacle frame business, and its lens division will move to Alpharetta.

The decision follows the failure of Rodenstock's bid for the Galileo group and its powerful US-based Signet Armorlite subsidiary (see our previous issue and the following story). Rodenstock was one of the first financial backers of 2C Optics, along with Dow Chemical, PPG Industries and other investors, when the company was founded 4 years. Rodenstock recently raised to 51 percent its shareholding in 2C Optics, which has more than 20 issued and penbding patents in the USA and elsewhere on its propritary Automated Prescription Technology.

The German firm is determined to raise its own presence in the US market. It's also planning to make an important move soon in Japan, where it enjoys a strong reputation. Rodenstock recently took over the distribution in Austria and Switzerland. It opened a sales subsidiary in Poland last year.

Egon Minar, a 47-year-old former manager of Sony Europa's consumer sales and managing director of Sony Deutschland, joined Rodenstock's executive board last month as executive vice president in charge of sales for the company's spectacles business group.

Meanwhile, the Rodenstock family is considering a possible introduction on the Stock Exchange in about 3 years' time to help finance its international development and become one of the 3-4 largest companies in the eyewear sector. Rodenstock is beginning to reap the fruits of a major reorganization of its management, based on a matrix structure, and of the introduction of new products based on its 2-year-old mission statement to become ?the best problem-solver? in the optical sector. Its sales improved last year, largely thanks to the growing success of its Multigressiv range of progressive lenses.