French-Italian eyewear company EssilorLuxottica has acquired Kibbutz Shamir's remaining 50% stake in ophthalmic lens technology company Shamir Optical Industry Ltd. in a deal estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. EssilorLuxoticca will now have 100% ownership of Shamir Optical. Before merging with Luxoticca, Essilor acquired a 50% stake in the company (37% from Kibbutz Shamir and 13% from the public) in 2011 for $130 million.
A letter seen by "Globes" sent by Shamir management to opticians said the acquisition is an, "Amazing milestone for Shamir optics because now we can take advantage of unique opportunities to strengthen complementary distribution networks, well-known brands, and our leading optical products and solutions, which will allow Shamir to lead the market with swift commercial decisions, and rapid service and response to the market's needs. This decision is the logical step that continues our longstanding partnership with EssilorLuxottica. It allows us to continue to strengthen the cooperation between our commercial and R&D teams in order to leverage areas of excellence and to continue to expand Shamir's presence in the market and accelerate the launching of innovative products and solutions for the benefit of our customers and consumers. At present there is no change in our routine activities and procedures."
Shamir optical was founded in 1972 and today operates in 23 countries through 18 international optical laboratories and has over 2,500 employees. In 2005, the company began trading on Nasdaq but was delisted after Essilor acquired its 50% stake in 2011. The company was valued at $225 million when it held its IPO and $260 million when Essilor bought its stake.
Shamir Optical CEO Yagen Moshe will continue to lead the company and he will report directly to EssilorLuxottica CEO Francesco Milleri. Shamir Optical will also remain a separate brand with development and manufacturing remaining at Kibbutz Shamir in the Upper Galilee.
In recent years, Shamir Optical has developed a range of innovative lenses using new technologies including the prevention of vapor formation on spectacles. Revenue has been rising in recent years, even during the Covid pandemic, partly due to entry into new markets in Asia.
Shamir is one of the country's wealthiest kibbutzim. The kibbutz also holds a 60% stake in Shalag Industries (TASE: SALG), which specializes in carded thermos-bond and air through bonded nonwoven technology and has a market cap of NIS 430 million.
Luxottica is also entering Israel's retail sector after signing a franchise agreement with Harel Wizel's Fox-Wizel (TASE:FOX) retail chain to open Sunglasses Hut stores in Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 3 2022.
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