Essilor International has announced the acquisition of a 50% stake in Polycore Optical, one of the world’s leading sun lens producers.
Founded in 1976, Singapore-based Polycore develops and manufactures a wide range of plano sun lenses and prescription sun and clear lenses, which are sold in Asia, Europe and the United States. The company, which has 2,200 employees and revenue of around €30 million, is an Essilor supplier. It has two production plants, in Indonesia and in Malaysia, and three prescription laboratories, including an export laboratory, in Indonesia and the Netherlands.
Commenting on the acquisition, Hubert Sagnières, Essilor’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said : “This agreement is in line with our eye protection and visual health strategy. Polycore’s production capacity and facilities will add to Essilor’s existing sun lens capabilities, mainly located in our BNL plants in France and at Gentex in the United States. This new partnership will allow us to offer a wider, more comprehensive range of sun products and materials, and to increase the penetration of high-performance sun lenses.”
Based in France, BNL manufactures premium tinted or polarized sun lenses, mainly in polycarbonate. The Gentex subsidiary has a plant in the United States that is recognized for its expertise in the production of sun lens, particularly for curved frames.
With their ability to enhance visual comfort and clarity by protecting the eye, sun lenses form an integral part of Essilor’s mission of improving the vision of 4.2 billion people in the world, of whom 2.5 billion do not have corrective eyewear. The sun lens segment is growing around twice as fast as the corrective lens market.
In the prescription clear lens segment, the acquisition will also allow Essilor to step up its expansion in Indonesia, where one of Polycore’s prescription laboratories serves the domestic market. With fewer than one in five Indonesian residents benefitting from effectively corrected vision, the market is one of the world’s most underpenetrated. There is significant growth potential, especially for medium and high index lenses.