Essilor Acquires Lens Maker X-Cel Optical

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SAUK RAPIDS, Minn.— Essilor (ESSI.PA) has acquired ophthalmic lens maker X-Cel Optical, based here. The purchase price was not announced. Joe Doescher, CEO and president of X-Cel, told VMail that he and CFO Wayne Gottwalt retain a 20 percent stake in company, which had been privately held by members of his family and management since 1983. Doescher said both he and Gottwalt remain in their current roles, along with other members of the management team.

“X-Cel Optical is a very well-run manufacturing company with products and services that Essilor does not currently have,” said an Essilor spokesperson. “We’re adding them to our team to incorporate those products and services into our distribution channels.”

According to the spokesperson, X-Cel generates $33 million in annual sales. One of the last remaining U.S. lens companies continuing to manufacturer lenses domestically, X-Cel markets a broad line of lenses, including many exclusive specialty products.

“We’re manufacturing fused and single vision glass lenses, as well as CR-39 lenses and a mid-index material from PPG,” said Doescher, adding, “Our Trivex line is broader and deeper than anyone else’s.”

Doescher noted that although X-Cel’s sales are primarily to domestic customers, the company will now have greater access to international markets through Essilor distribution network. “We’re extremely excited about the growth opportunity,” he said.