Italian eyewear group Luxottica is expanding its presence in the optical franchise business with around 950 stores after agreeing to buy Brazilian optical chain Oticas Carol in an 110 million euro deal.

The acquisition will expand the eyewear group’s retail footprint in the South American country, marking Luxottica’s entry into the optical retail business in Brazil, a region it states has “excellent growth potential in eyewear”.

Established in 1997, Oticas Carol operates a franchise of around 950 outlets selling both prescription frames and sunglasses, with annual revenue of around 200 million euros. It has significantly grown in recent years, growing its retail footprint from approximately 500 stores in 2013 to 950 in 2016, largely through established partnerships with franchisees..

Its main shareholders are investment funds 3i Group, Neuberger Berman and Siguler Guff & Company, who are all involved in selling shares as part of the transaction. .

"Brazil is a great country, one we have believed in and operated in for 25 years,” said Leonardo Del Vecchio, Executive Chairman of Luxottica Group. "With this transaction, we take one step further in completing our vertically integrated business model, which has shown many benefits for all our consumers.”.

Ronaldo Pereira, chief executive of Óticas Carol added: "The transaction brings Carol to a whole new level. Our franchisees will belong to a global eyewear company, which brings them a greater sense of security to continue to grow and invest in our brand. Now we have all the necessary tools to move forward with our expansion plans.”.

Luxottica earlier this month signed a 46 billion euro merger deal with top lens maker Essilor, who is already present in Brazil with a network of Sunglass Hut stores, as well as having a presence through its wholesale business and a manufacturing plant in Campinas..

 

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