Safilo Acquires Polaroid Eyewear

Safilo has just signed an agreement with StyleMark for the acquisition of the Polaroid Eyewear business, a world leader in optics and lens technology and a global eyewear manufacturer and distributor, with a strong and recognizable market positioning. The Polaroid Eyewear business is part of the StyleMark Group and has offices in the UK, Switzerland, the US, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, China and Russia as well as a comprehensive network of distribution partners around the world.

Polaroid invented the first man-made polarizer for commercial use in 1929 and the first pair of Polaroid sunglasses was sold in 1935. Polaroid has been a pioneer and leader in polarizing lens technology ever since.

For the year 2011, the Polaroid Eyewear business is expected to record sales of approximately USD 63 million and generate an expected EBITDA of around USD 8.75 million. The acquisition of the Polaroid Eyewear business is consistent with Safilo Group’s strategy of building a strong portfolio of Safilo own brands, in order to complement its well performing licensed brand portfolio.

The inclusion of the Polaroid Eyewear business in the portfolio owned by Safilo will contribute to realize the full potential of Safilo across markets, categories and channels by completing the offering in a market segment with a high growth potential, especially in markets outside Europe, where Polaroid is currently underrepresented and where the distribution network of Safilo Group will allow a prompt expansion. Safilo will acquire the Polaroid Eyewear business for a consideration of USD 87,5 million (amounting to maximum Euro 65 million, to be determined based on predetermined currency conversion mechanisms).

The completion of the acquisition is subject to certain conditions precedent set forth in the contractual documentation entered into by Safilo and the seller on the date hereof and is expected to occur during the first quarter of 2012.

Roberto Vedovotto, Chief Executive Officer of Safilo Group, commented: “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. 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. I am confident that a brand like Polaroid will help us in giving a strong push in the use of such important technology. 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 Board of Directors of Safilo Group also approved a financing structure to partially fund the acquisition by means of a bridge loan and a capital increase reserved for subscription by its main shareholder, Multibrands Italy B.V., controlled by HAL Holding N.V..

In this respect, Safilo Group and Multibrands Italy B.V. have finalized a loan agreement and are in the course of finalizing an investment and underwriting agreement whereby Multibrands Italy B.V. would provide Safilo Group with the financial support, amounting to at least two thirds of the purchase price for the acquisition, to partially fund the acquisition transaction, based on the following main terms and conditions:


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