Safilo to Acquire Polaroid from Stylemark for $87 Million

Padua, Italy—At a time when polarized lenses are moving away from just sport and into the fashion arena, Safilo has signed an agreement with StyleMark for the acquisition of the Polaroid Eyewear business, filling a void in its multi-brand company.

This acquisition comes after the news that Safilo, with its portfolio of world-class designer licenses, recently lost its Armani license to competitor Luxottica.

Contingent upon contractual documents, Safilo will acquire the Polaroid Eyewear business for a consideration of $87.5 million, effective first-quarter 2012.

Polaroid Eyewear, a leader in optics and lens technology and a global eyewear manufacturer and distributor, invented the first man-made polarizer for commercial use in 1929. The first pair of Polaroid sunglasses was sold in 1935.

Polaroid Eyewear is part of the StyleMark Group with offices in the U.S., UK, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, China and Russia as well as a comprehensive network of distribution partners around the world.

According to reports, the Polaroid Eyewear’s business is expected to record sales of approximately $63 million in 2011. Safilo’s distribution network, particularly outside Europe, will help Polaroid reach currently underrepresented markets.

“The size of the polarizing eyewear market is rising steadily as more and more consumers realize the benefits and the value of glare-free vision,” says Roberto Vedovotto, ceo at  Safilo. “We are extremely happy to announce that a historical yet contemporary brand like Polaroid is becoming part of the new Safilo, bringing along its reputation of leader in the manufacturing of high quality polarizing lenses and the distribution of world class polarized sunglasses around the world. More importantly we are taking a further step towards what we define as a great growth opportunity for our Group, Safilo’s own brands, and we are really excited to add Polaroid to the Safilo Brands Division, covering the Specialist market segment, where Safilo is presently not operating.”

The Safilo Group is worldwide leader in the premium eyewear sector and maintains a leadership position in the prescription, sunglasses, fashion and sports eyewear sectors. Present in the international market through exclusive distributors and 30 subsidiaries in primary markets (U.S.A., Europe and Far East). The main proprietary branded collections distributed are: Safilo, Carrera, Smith Optics, Oxydo, Blue Bay, and the licensed branded collections are: Alexander McQueen, A/X Armani Exchange, Balenciaga, Banana Republic, Bottega Veneta, BOSS Black, BOSS Orange, Dior, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, HUGO, J.Lo by Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Choo, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Liz Claiborne, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Max Mara, Max&Co., Nine West, Pierre Cardin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent.

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine &
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories for the past 14 years, Lauren Parker has covered women's fashion accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. She frequently judges industry design competitions and loves seeing the next generation of designers come into their own. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.