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Thread: Optical News Flash ..............

  1. #1
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    Arrow Optical News Flash ..............

    Ocular Sciences shares jump after earnings report
    Fri May 9, 2003 02:58 PM ET
    CHICAGO, May 9 (Reuters) - Shares in Ocular Sciences Inc. rose nearly 20 percent to a five-month high on Friday, one day after the contact lens maker posted better-than-expected earnings and held an upbeat conference call with analysts.
    After the market closed on Thursday, Ocular OCLR.O reported first-quarter earnings of $5.9 million, or 25 cents a share, including special charges, on sales of $70.7 million, which was better than many analysts had forecast.

    Suey Wong, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co., said sales growth in the quarter, particularly in Europe, coupled with the stock's low valuation relative to its peers, prompted him to upgrade his investment rating on the stock to "outperform," his firm's highest ranking, from "neutral."

    Among the products likely to lead growth, he said, are color and bifocal lenses.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for the update.

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    Out of the Vision Monday Website .............

    The VM Top 50: Biggest Optical Players Build Market Share



    NEW YORK--The big continued to get bigger in optical retailing last year. The nation’s largest eyewear/eyecare players grabbed a greater share of the overall U.S. optical retail market in 2002, with their aggregate volume representing 36.5 percent of total industry retail sales.

    Once again, Luxottica Group’s (NYSE: LUX) LensCrafters chain ranked number-one in sales in this year’s Top 50 listing, followed by Cole National’s (NYSE: CNJ) Cole Vision operation in second place and Wal-Mart’s (NYSE: WMT) optical operation as number three.

    For a full look at The VM Top 50, and how these key retail chains stacked up in 2002 optical sales and store count, see the May 12 issue of Vision Monday, or check our Web site at www.visionmonday.com.


    Vol. No: 17:09Issue: 5/12/03

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    General, not only optical bad news for retail operations

    Are we in the optical industrie going to follow this general trend as announced by Reuters today ?



    U.S. Retailers Turning to Discounts as Sales Slump
    Thu May 15, 2003 02:19 PM ET
    By Emily Kaiser

    CHICAGO (Reuters) - Major U.S. retailers from Abercrombie & Fitch Co. to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are poised to slash prices this quarter to clear out excess inventory, but while bargain-hunters rejoice investors could face declining profits and lower share prices.

    Already grappling with price deflation that makes it harder to boost year-over-year sales, retailers are now stuck with heavy stockpiles of everything from clothing to lawn furniture after a lackluster spring selling season.

    War in Iraq, unseasonably cool weather, and weak consumer sentiment combined to push retail sales below expectations in recent months. Adding to the pain, Thursday's jobless report showed unemployment at a level not seen since the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

    The second quarter "will be great for consumers finding bargains but less robust for retailers themselves," said Todd Slater, retail analyst with Lazard Freres & Co.

    That could mean trouble for retail stocks because share prices have been on the rise even though analysts have been lowering earnings estimates.

    Analysts currently expect the retail sector as a whole to show a 7.3 percent year-over-year earnings increase in the second quarter, according to research firm Thomson First Call. As recently as April 1, they were expecting 9.7 percent growth, and on Jan. 1 that estimate stood at a robust 13.4 percent.

    Meanwhile, the Standard & Poor's retailing index is up about 10 percent since Jan. 1.

    "These (retail) stocks tend to outperform in the first and fourth quarters," said Nancy Aversa, retail analyst with Victory Capital Management. "We saw that in spades this year. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if we saw some of these stocks start to settle down."

    CLEARANCE SALES

    Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, said this week its inventory level was higher than it would like for the second straight quarter, and it may have to mark down prices -- troubling for competitors and suppliers, who may not see big orders until inventories are manageable again.

    Wal-Mart forecast second-quarter earnings at the low end of analysts' expectations, in part because of the markdowns.

    Abercrombie & Fitch, the teen-oriented clothing retailer, said it was softening its anti-discounting stance after first-quarter store transactions dropped sharply, and said its second-quarter earnings would miss analysts' estimates.

    Many retailers have been sacrificing sales for profits in recent quarters, but with inventory levels high and consumers unwilling to spend the pendulum appears to be swinging. Analysts worry that retailers can't generate both sales and profits simultaneously, but some companies dispute that.

    "Our merchandising strategy is focused on both growing the top line and protecting the bottom line," Gregg Steinhafel, president of Target Stores, said on a conference call Thursday. "We don't see that as an either/or proposition."

    HURRY! SALE ENDS SOON!

    Some analysts argue that retailers have only themselves to blame for the markdown mania because seemingly nonstop sales have left consumers reluctant to pay full price.

    Chains such as J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kohl's Corp. run advertisements nearly every week, touting huge discounts.

    Even upscale retailer Federated Department Stores Inc. -- parent of Bloomingdale's and Macy's -- is invoking Wal-Mart's "everyday low prices" mantra.

    Federated said this week it would focus on a low-price campaign in which about 10 percent to 15 percent of the merchandise in a store will be at its lowest price. The rest of the items will be discounted from time to time as usual.

    "We are absolutely a nation of bargain-hunters," said Stephen Deedy, head of the retail and consumer products group at consulting firm Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

    "We've created a cycle where we only buy on sale, but it can turn. When we get unemployment numbers going down and a little bit of inflation creeping in, then it's not going to be all about bargains. It will switch back to fashionable items, but it turns up more slowly than it turns down." (With additional reporting by Jean Scheidnes)

  5. #5
    Thank you for your news stories and observations.
    I also caught some of your(?) FDA postings/news.

    Just a thought, could these also go into the news section/forum?

    I think they are great here - allowing for a discussion of them.

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    Please go on and discuss

    trevbigg said:
    Thank you for your news stories and observations.
    I also caught some of your(?) FDA postings/news.

    Just a thought, could these also go into the news section/forum?

    I think they are great here - allowing for a discussion of them.

    trevbigg,

    This is not my forum. I just post these news to put it to the attention of the Optiboarders. Anybody is weccome to comment and or criticise.

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    Exclamation Latest report from Visison Monday ........................

    Cole National Posts $6.4M Loss in Q1 as Optical Comps Drop 1.2 Percent



    TWINSBURG, Ohio--In its first quarter ended May 3, Cole Vision parent Cole National (NYSE: CNJ) had a $6.4-million net loss, vs. net profit of 866,000 in 2002's Q1. Net revenue was up one percent for the quarter, to $288.3 million.

    Cole Vision's overall comparable-store sales fell 1.2 percent in Q1, with overall Pearle Vision comp sales down 3.1 percent for the period and Cole Licensed Brands' Q1 comp sales flat. Cole Vision's only segment with a comp-store increase was Target Optical, up 15.3 percent in the quarter.


    Vol. No: 17:11Issue: 6/19/03

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    Out of Visionmonday

    Among the national retailers with a presence in optical, Wal-Mart showed a 2.1-percent comp-sales increase in May, and was predicting a June increase in the two- to four-percent range. The Target discount stores’ comp sales rose 0.7 percent last month, and were pegged by the company at a one- to three-percent increase for this month. Comp-store sales in Costco’s U.S. warehouse clubs rose two percent in May, although ShopKo Stores saw its May comp sales fall 4.7 percent in its ShopKo locations, with comp sales also expected to be down this month.



    See the rhe whole article go on:

    http://www.visionmonday.com/index.asp?page=4_11653.htm

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    Big Smile

    Chris said:
    Some analysts argue that retailers have only themselves to blame for the markdown mania because seemingly nonstop sales have left consumers reluctant to pay full price.

    That is the exact reason Sears Optical is having such a problem and why there RM's (regional managers) are all over there cases to sell more. They have this motto that say's "there are no $99.99
    coupons just 194.99 because they want up sell on everything. So
    you walk through the Sears store and you see 30% here 50% there and go into the Optical and they say that will be $194.99. They have a very oxymoron relationship considering Sears central
    wants to have a higher capture rate and the Optical wants higher sales. Very strange the way Sears optical is run.

    :hammer:

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    General June Report on economy by Reuters

    U.S. consumer sentiment dips in June - report

    Fri June 27, 2003 09:59 AM ET
    NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. consumers were slightly less optimistic about the economy in June, according to a University of Michigan report seen by market sources on Friday, as the job market stayed stagnant and a stocks rally faded.
    In its final reading of consumer sentiment, the sources said the university's index fell to 89.7 during June, compared to a preliminary reading of 87.2 and May's final figure of 92.1. Economists polled by Reuters had expected, on average, that the figure would slip to 87.3.

    The current conditions index rose to 94.7 in June against May's final figure of 93.2. But the future expectations component deteriorated, hitting 86.4 against May's 91.4.

    Michigan's gauge was largely in line with a survey released on Tuesday by the Conference Board, a private New York business group. The Conference Board's index showed that sentiment toward the economy's current state had also waned in June, but consumers were increasingly expectant that the business activity would rebound within six months.

    Bellwether U.S. stock indexes surged after the end of the war in Iraq but have stalled recently as signs of an economic revival remain tentative. The moribund labor market has shown no sign of turning around and economic growth has not accelerated sufficiently to create new jobs.

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    Out of VisisonMonday ..............................

    Essilor, Ocular Sciences Get Luxottica Retail Honors



    CINCINNATI--At the recent annual partnership meeting held here by Luxottica Group's (NYSE: LUX) Luxottica Retail division, the retail operation presented Vendor of the Year awards. Essilor was named Luxottica Retail's lens vendor of the year; contact-lens-vendor honors went to Ocular Sciences (NASDAQ: OCLR) for the second consecutive year.



    Vol. No: 17:12Issue: 6/23/03

  12. #12

    Staar Surgical Collamer Lens Gets FDA Expedited Review

    DJO Staar Surgical Collamer Lens Gets FDA Expedited Review

    July 1, 2003 8:05am


    MONROVIA, Calif. (Dow Jones)--Staar Surgical Co. (STAA) said the Food and Drug Administration granted expedited review status to its premarket application for the Collamer ICL implantable contact lens.

    If the FDA approves the application, Staar will be allowed to market the lense in the U.S. for the reduction of myopia, or nearsightedness.

    In a press release Tuesday, the company said it believes it will be the first to market this vision-correction technology in the U.S.

    Staar Surgical submitted the final portion of the premarket application May 8. The company has received approval to sell the implantable lens in 37 countries.

    Recently, the company touted a study of nearsighted patients published in the May issue of the ophthalmology journal Cornea. The study found that Staar's lenses outperformed Visx Inc.'s (EYE) Lasik laser surgery on all measures, and showed that, after six months, 7% of myopic patients with the implanted lenses had gained two or more lines on the standard eye chart, while only 3% of Lasik patients had gained two or more lines.

    Cornea's Web site said the study was performed by two doctors who are consultants to Staar Surgical.

    Staar is also enrolling patients in clinical trials of its hyperopic ICL, which corrects farsightedness, as well as its toric ICL, which reduces nearsightedness combined with astigmatism.

    Company Web site: http://www.Staar.com

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    Exclamation Discounted Eye Exams .......................

    TWINSBURG, Ohio--Cole National (NYSE: CNJ) and 1-800 Contacts (NASDAQ: CTAC) are partnering in a marketing agreement through which 1-800 Contacts’ customers can receive discounted eye exams from ODs contracted with Cole Managed Vision and associated with more than 1,500 of Cole’s Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, and Target Optical locations. Those retail operations will also offer 1-800 Contacts' customers value pricing on eyeglasses, sunwear, and other vision products. 1-800 Contacts will retain the contact-lens business of customers recommended to Cole’s stores.

    Cole president/CEO Larry Pollock said the two firms will test various cross-marketing promotions in the coming months. Cole will offer the doctor network “for at least one year,” according to Pollock.

    Copied from Visionmonday

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    Exclamation Walman purchase .....................

    Walman Acquires PC Optical Products



    MINNEAPOLIS—Walman Optical, the wholesale lab and CL company based here, has acquired PC Optical Products, a regional provider of oxygen-permeable (GP) contact-lenses located in the Minneapolis suburb of Edina.

    Walman will operate PC Optical as a separate business, keeping the manufacturing facility, product lines and personnel in place, and plans on capitalizing on PC’s specialized, loyal customer base, the company said.


    Vol. No: 17:12Issue: 7/3/03
    Visionmonday

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    Exclamation Optical Market Forecast .......................


    Consumer Uncertainty Spawns Mixed Forecast for Summer Sales
    Sunwear, back-to-school, premium products help retailers boost summer sales



    NEW YORK—Optical retailers and eyecare practitioners are looking to traditional summer promotions—stressing both sunwear offers and back-to-school pitches for children’s eyewear—as well as to premium lens products to boost their dispensing business during the next few months.

    See the whole report on Visionmonday at:

    http://www.visionmonday.com/index.asp?page=4_11653.htm

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    News from VICA

    Representative Bill Pascrell (NJ) has introduced HR 2173, legislation to increase the number of children that receive an exam from an eye doctor.




    If fully enacted, the bill would provide states with $75 million to educate parents about the importance of eye exams, improve follow-up following a failed screening and provide exams to needy families.


    Please contact your Representative in Congress and urge him/her to cosponsor HR 2173. A sample letter and contact information are listed below.


    Please contact Joseph LaMountain at jlamountain@visionsite.org
    or 703.548.4560 if you need additional information.


    Thank you for your support.



    Sample letter
    Last edited by Chris Ryser; 07-09-2003 at 02:10 PM.

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    Bar Codes Soon Antuques ..................

    Goodbye UPC bar codes [CNN]

    Razor blades and medicines packaged with pinpoint-sized computer chips and tiny antennae to send retailers and manufacturers a wealth of information about the products -- and those who buy them -- will start appearing in grocery stores and pharmacies this year. Within two decades, the minuscule transmitters are expected to replace the familiar product bar codes, and retailers are already envisioning the conveniences the new technology, called "radio frequency identification," will bring -- even as others are raising privacy concerns.

    http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/0....ap/index.html

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    Safilo Takeover ..................................

    copied out of Visionminday.

    Safilo Acquires Outlook Eyewear



    PARSIPPANY, N.J.--Safilo Group has acquired Outlook Eyewear, the Denver-based eyewear manufacturer. The buyout will facilitate Safilo’s growth in moderate and bridge department store sunwear business and corporate optical sectors, and provides Safilo with expanded distribution of outlets for retail sunwear, according to Claudio Gottardi, president and CEO of Safilo USA.

    As a result of this agreement, effective July 1, Safilo has added all Liz Claiborne Inc. licensed eyewear brands. [Safilo Group previously obtained the Liz Claiborne ophthalmic license in December 2002.] Additionally, Sàfilo has acquired the J. Lo by Jennifer Lopez and B.U.M. Equipment sunwear brands from Outlook. All new brands acquired through Outlook will be distributed in the United States and Canada only.

    Vol. No: 17:12Issue: 7/10/03

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    Women in optical top jobs ........................

    Out of Vision Monday .........................

    Retail Executives
    • Nancy DiCosmo, President, Au Courant, Troy, MI
    • Meera Dua, Director of Frame Merchandising, Cole Licensed Brands, Twinsburg, OH
    • Debra Fink, Vice President, Specialty Products, D.O.C. Optics, Southfield, MI
    • Diana Hall, Owner/President, Bard Optical, Peoria, IL
    • Michele Jantzen, Senior Optical Buyer, Shopko Eyecare Centers, Green Bay, WI
    • Carene Kunkler, President/CEO, Sight Resource, Cincinnati
    • Sherry Lay, Vice President, Merchandising, Pearle Vision, Twinsburg, OH
    • Lynn Millay, Senior Director, Lens Managment, LensCrafters, Cincinnati
    • Sherrie Rogerson, Director of Vision-Care Marketing, Doctor’s Vision Center, Rocky Mountain, NC

    Opticians and Dispensing Managers/Executives
    • Diane Charles, President, Woodlawn Optical, Redmond, WA
    • Denise Cook, Manager of Optical Products, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Boston
    • Stacia Decker, Vice President of Retail, Alvernon Optical, Alvernon, AZ
    • Diane Easterwood, General Manager, Optical Services, Kaiser Permanente North California, Richmond, CA
    • Peggy Hudicer-Zillmann, Partner/Owner, Berris Optical, Rocky River, OH
    • Emily Mikel, Vice President, Marketing, Folline Vision Center, Columbia, SC
    • Juanita Moman, Owner, Moman’s Eyecare, Gadsden, AL
    • Pam Parizo, Owner/Optician, Parizo’s Champlain Valley Eyecare, Rutland, VT
    • Selima Salaun, President, Selima Optique, NY
    • Mello Thompson, President, Image Optical, Nashville

    Optometry
    • Catherine Amos OD, Chairman, Vision Service Plan; Practitioner, Eyecare Associates, Birmingham, AL
    • Susan Danberg OD, Global Clinical Advisor of Operations, Special Olympics Opening Eyes Program, Washington, DC
    • Harlyne Hantman, OD, Independent Practice, Delray Beach, FL
    • Jan Jurkus OD, Professor, Illinois College of Optometry, Chicago

    The Supplier Side
    • Grady Culbreth, Director of Business Development, Carl Zeiss Optical, Chester, VA
    • Mimi Friedfeld, Partner/Advisor, ClearVision Optical, Farmingdale, NY
    • Gai Gherardi, Co-Owner/Designer, l.a. Eyeworks, Los Angeles
    • Barbara McReynolds, CEO, CFO, and Designer, l.a. Eyeworks, Los Angeles
    • Andrea Gluck, Co-President, Eyewear Designs, Syosset, NY
    • Nikki Iravani OD, Director of Clinical Research & Professional Relatoins, CooperVision, Lake Forest, CA
    • Teresa Mandarini-Hanlon, Vice President of Marketing, Davis Vision, Winchester, MA
    • Jean Scott, Vice President of Products and Key Accounts, Luxottica, Port Washington, NY
    • Donna Van Green, Vice President, Seiko Optical Frame Division, Mahwah, NJ
    • Sheila Vance, CEO, Sama Eyewear, Los Angeles

    Field Sales/Training
    • Mindy Bernstein, Frame Sales Representative, Kenmark Optical, Louisville, KY
    • Val Manso, Vice President of Marketing, Optical Dynamics, Louisville, KY
    • Danne Ventura, Director of Professional Relations, Essilor Lenses, St. Petersburg, FL

    Laboratories
    • Donna Benedict, President, Optical Laboratories Association, Merrifield, VA
    • Lorinda Fraboni, IS Manager Lab Operations, Walman Optical, Minneapolis
    • Corrine Hood, President/Owner, Katz & Klein Optical, Sacramento, CA
    • Vicki Kathe, Executive Director, Lightbenders, Gilbert, AZ
    • Teri Lew, Director of Ophthalmic Services, Vision Service Plan, Sacramento, CA
    • Sue Murray, President, Cumberland Optical, Nashville
    • Naomi Svochak, President, Tru Form Labs, Euless, TX
    • Dana Weeks, President, Optical Services International, Roswell, GA

    Media/Associations/Consultants
    • Jackie Angel, Owner, Wind River County Optical, Riverton, WY
    • Marge Axelrad, Senior Vice President, Editorial Director, Jobson Optical Group, New York
    • Stephanie De Long, Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Director, Eyecare Business, Fort Washington, PA
    • Darlene Eakin, Executive Director, Kentucky Optometric Association, Frankfort, KY
    • Pam Fritz, Executive Director, American Association of Dispensing Ophthalmologists, Clinton, CT
    • Carole Norbeck, Vice President Special Projects, Silhouette Optical, Chief Executive Officer, Silhouette Optical Laboratories, Albany, NY


    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/14/03

    See all of it at:

    http://www.visionmonday.com/index.asp?page=4_11728.htm

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    Out of Visionmonday ...............

    Luxottica Extends OPSM Offer



    MILAN, Italy--Luxottica Group’s (NYSE: LUX) cash offer to buy Australia’s

    OPSM Group has been extended by two weeks, until August 1. Luxottica’s

    purchase bid for the 619-unit optical chain is subject to approval from

    the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board. The FIRB could not confirm

    it would approve the deal before the offer’s original July 18 deadline, so Luxottica extended it.

    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/14/03

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    Robbery

    out of Visionmonday...........

    Police Nab, Charge Two in South Florida Optical Robberies



    STUART, Fla.--Two men--Leonardo Gonzales and Maikel Suarez--have been arrested and charged with burglary and grand theft after being caught stealing frames at Schmidt’s Optical, an independent optical retailer here.

    Police believe the robbery is connected to a rash of more than 30 robberies in the state earlier this year that have targeted optical establishments in at least six counties.

    According to Detective Cheryl Donisi of the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department, authorities must “show a pattern of criminal enterprise” in several counties to determine how and where the suspects will be prosecuted and if the robberies were part of a professional operation.

    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/17/03

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    Oprical News Flash .....................

    BMC Industries Gets Bank-Waiver Extension



    MINNEAPOLIS--BMC Industries' (NYSE: BMM) banks have granted it an additional 60-day waiver of certain covenants under its credit facility. BMC received an initial two-week waiver June 30, after the company notified its bank group that it would fail to comply with obligations of its credit facility as of that date. The waiver extends the time period for BMC to make scheduled principal and fee payments; in addition, the parties have agreed that no additional borrowings will be extended during the waiver period. Discussions continue between BMC, its banks, and the company's advisors regarding a longer-term resolution of the situation, an announcement said.


    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/21/03

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    Out of Visionmonday.................

    Prada, Luxottica Sign 10-Year Licensing Deal



    MILAN, Italy--The Prada Group and Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX) have signed a 10-year, worldwide license agreement which provides for Luxottica to exclusively produce and distribute prescription frames and sunglasses bearing the Prada and Miu Miu names. Luxottica will present its first Prada and Miu Miu collections in September and said it expects to generate sales of approximately 120 million Euro from the collections for the first 12 months.

    The news follows an announcement by De Rigo (NYSE: DER) earlier yesterday stating that the company sold its 51-percent interest in the Eyewear International Distribution and EID USA back to Prada, ending the companies' joint venture for the manufacture and distribution of Prada-branded eyewear. De Rigo said it will continue to be one of the manufacturers for Prada eyewear.


    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/24/03




    Essilor Acquires Hawaii Lab Optical Suppliers



    DALLAS--Essilor has completed the acquisition of Optical Suppliers, a wholesale laboratory located in Aiea, Hawaii. The acquisition raises the number of ELOA labs to a total of 79.

    According to Essilor, Optical Suppliers has 50 employees, with annual sales of around $5 million.




    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/24/03

  24. #24
    Master OptiBoarder LENNY's Avatar
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    So now we are stuck with the old Prada?

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    Out of VisisonMonday ..............................

    Takeover Bid for GrandVision Would Take French Chain Private



    PARIS--PAI Partners, a private equity firm based here, last week made a bid to take over France’s GrandVision chain, a move that if successful would take the publicly traded company private. PAI is offering 21 Euros per share for GrandVision’s stock; if PAI acquires all the stock, the transaction reportedly would be valued at about 490 million Euros.

    GrandVision's founding shareholders, including chairman Daniel Abittan and CFO Elie Vannier, have pledged 23 percent of GrandVision’s shares, representing 37 percent of voting rights, to PAI, and are urging other shareholders of the 386-unit chain to accept the tender offer.


    Vol. No: 17:13Issue: 7/28/03

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