New International Partnerships Drive Essilor’s Growth

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Hubert Sagnieres, Essilor's chairman and CEO  
CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—Pursuing its strategy in fast-growing countries, Essilor (Reuters: ESSI: PA) has announced the creation of partnerships with local leaders in Colombia, Turkey and China, which Essilor has identified as key markets in its development plan.

In Colombia, Essilor has signed an agreement to acquire a 51 percent stake in Servi Optica, one of South America's largest prescription laboratories. Servi Optica, which generates revenue of around €29 million, will serve as a launch pad for the Andean countries of Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, where Essilor does not yet operate, Essilor said. The transaction is subject to approval by Colombian competition authorities.

In Turkey, Essilor has signed an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Isbir Optik, the market's leading distributor of ophthalmic lenses with full-year revenue of around €15 million. The partnership between Isbir and Essilor is subject to a certain conditions, including notifying Turkish competition authorities about the transaction. It should be completed in second-quarter 2013, Essilor said.

In China, Essilor has acquired a majority stake in Tianhong, the market's leading distributor of ophthalmic lenses. Based in Dan Yang, Tianhong generates around €19 million in revenue, much of it from products manufactured by Essilor Group companies, according to Essilor.

In Tunisia, Essilor completed the acquisition of Sivo, the market's leading distributor, which also operates in Morocco, Algeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameron and Togo and generates approximately €7 million in revenue.
In Morocco, Essilor completed the acquisition of Movisia, a distributor of Nikon and Kodak brand lenses. With revenue of around €1 million, Movisia strengthens the local operations of the group created by L'N Optic, a distributor of Varilux and Crizal lenses, and Optiben, which markets the BBGR brand.

"Essilor is continuing to deploy its multi-network growth strategy in all its host countries, with the goal of stepping up the pace of distribution for all company brands," said Hubert Sagnieres, Essilor's chairman and CEO. "I also want to acknowledge the launch in 2012 of operations in five countries that confirms Essilor's goal of providing vision correction solutions for everyone. This ability to forge partnerships with local industry leaders while continuing to drive powerful organic growth has strengthened our objective of generating full-year revenue of €1.5 billion in fast-growing countries by 2015."