CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Regulatory News:
Essilor International (Paris:EI) has announced it is taking a 50% stake in Wanxin Optical, one of China’s leading manufacturers of ophthalmic lenses, as part of a joint venture agreement.
Wanxin Optical has more than 2,000 employees, produces nearly 35 million lenses a year and generates annual revenue of approximately €24 million. Intended for both the domestic and export markets, its products are highly regarded by eyecare professionals, especially in the mid-range segment. Wanxin Optical will continue to be led by its current management team.
“The transaction will provide the company with additional resources to speed its growth,” said Tang Langbao, Chairman of Wanxin Optical. “We intend to leverage Essilor’s technological capabilities and marketing expertise to broaden our product range and strengthen our positions in our core market segments.”
Estimated at 200-220 million lenses a year, the Chinese market is comprised mainly of myopes and presbyopes. With more than 900 million people suffering from faulty vision but fewer than half of them effectively corrected for their condition, the country enjoys very high growth potential. China thus represents a strategic priority for Essilor, not only for the size of its domestic market but also for its export capabilities.
In the past, Essilor’s growth initiatives in China focused on building strong positions in the premium segment with flagship brands such as Crizal® and Varilux®. Following an initial transaction last year with ILT Danyang, Essilor is now pursuing a partnership strategy with local industry leaders to establish solid positions in the mid-range segment.
“The partnership with Wanxin Optical, China’s leading ophthalmic optics brand and a major player in our industry, clearly illustrates Essilor’s commitment to stepping up its growth in China’s mid-range lens market,” said Hubert Sagnières, Chief Executive Officer of Essilor. “What’s more, Wanxin’s highly efficient manufacturing base will support Essilor’s development throughout Asia.”
Wanxin Optical will be fully consolidated by Essilor International.
The world leader in ophthalmic optical products, Essilor
International researches, develops, manufactures and markets around the
world a wide range of lenses to improve and protect eyesight. Its
flagship brands are Varilux®, Crizal®,
The Company reported consolidated revenue of more than €3.2 billion in 2009, with 34,700 employees and operations in 100 countries.
For more information, please visit www.essilor.com.
The Essilor share trades on the NYSE Euronext Paris market and is included in the CAC 40 index.
Codes and symbols: ISIN: FR0000121667; Reuters: ESSI.PA; Bloomberg: EI: FP.