Kering Eyewear acquires U.S. eyewear brand Maui Jim

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PARIS, March 14 (Reuters) – Gucci owner Kering (PRTP.PA) is bolstering its high-end eyewear division with a deal to buy U.S.-based label Maui Jim, the French luxury group said Monday.

Founded in 1987, Maui Jim is the world’s largest independently owned high-end eyewear brand with a leading position in North America. Recognized for its outstanding technicity and distinctive Hawaiian heritage that embodies the “Aloha Spirit”, Maui Jim is an authentic brand that offers a broad spectrum of high-quality sun and optical frames sold in more than 100 countries.

Since its building an in-house eyewear division in 2014, Kering Eyewear has built an innovative business model that enabled the company to reach more than €700m external revenues in FY2021. Kering, which bought upscale Danish label Lindberg in July last year, expects the Maui Jim deal to be closed in the second half of 2022.The acquisition of Maui Jim represents a major milestone in the successful expansion strategy of Kering Eyewear, which will also reinforce its status on the high-end eyewear segment and broaden its offer to cover the full scope from functional to timeless and fashion luxury products.

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Roberto Vedovotto, President and CEO of Kering Eyewear, declared: “Maui Jim has a unique positioning in the market, with very high-end and technically innovative sunglasses that are beloved by its clientele, and we are delighted that the brand is joining Kering Eyewear’s exceptional portfolio. We see strong potential globally for Maui Jim, which will benefit from our expertise and worldwide network to extend its geographical footprint and build on its core values to attract new consumers. This second key acquisition is also a major step for Kering Eyewear, which has now become unparalleled in its market segment, further validating the strategy that laid behind its creation by Kering in 2014.”

“The combination of Kering Eyewear and Maui Jim is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both of our organizations and our Ohana members,” said Walter Hester, CEO of Maui Jim. “Our companies share similar values, along with a strong commitment to our people and our customers, leading to a remarkable strategic fit. I am both humbled and excited that Maui Jim will join the Kering Eyewear family. We have proud pasts, and together will have an even brighter future.”

Kering said the purchase of the Hawaiian eyewear label, known for high-end sunglasses, would push the group’s annual eyewear revenues above 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) and improve its profitability.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but Exane BNP Paribas said the purchase price likely came to around 1.5 billion euros, estimating Maui Jim’s annual sales at around 300 million euros with operating profit of around 20% in 2021.

The analysts peg the profitability of Kering’s eyewear division at between 13% and 15%.

About Kering

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A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods and Jewelry : Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, DoDo, Qeelin, as well as Kering Eyewear.

About Kering Eyewear

Kering Eyewear is part of the Kering Group, a global Luxury group that develops a series of renowned Houses in Fashion, Leather Goods and Jewelry.

Founded in 2014, Kering Eyewear is the most relevant player in the luxury eyewear market segment. The Company designs, develops and distributes eyewear for a complete and well-balanced portfolio of 16 brands, which includes the proprietary brand Lindberg, the undisputed Danish absolute luxury eyewear label, and the Fashion, Luxury and Lifestyle brands Gucci, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Montblanc, Brioni, Dunhill, Boucheron, Pomellato, Alaïa, McQ and Puma.

 The group intends to expand Maui Jim’s presence in Europe and Asia, including through the travel retail channel, and use its lens technology to develop corrective sunglasses for fashion labels, Kering Eyewear’s president and chief executive Roberto Vedovotto said in a call with reporters.

Rival LVMH (LVMH.PA) said in December last year it was taking over Thelios, the upscale Italian eyewear manufacturer it launched with Marcolin in 2017.

($1 = 0.9127 euros)

Post time: Mar-19-2022