Essilor International has entered a binding agreement to acquire the outstanding common stock of Coastal Contacts (Coastal.com). The Vancouver-based Coastal.com reportedly designs and distributes one of the widest online selections of optical products for some 4 million customers worldwide--from contact lenses to non-prescription eyeglasses. It sells those products through websites covering North America and Europe as well as the Asia-Pacific region and Brazil. Said Hubert Sagnières, Essilor’s chairman/CEO, of the acquisition: “The Internet has an important role to play in helping us to fulfill our corporate mission...[It], if used properly, can help to drive market growth by educating consumers and making it more convenient for them to enjoy good visual health." How many opticians and ODs, however, will see the move as a supplier entering into direct competition?Read more.
570News reports that Coastal.com shares soared after it announced the $430-million friendly takeover. "The deal is expected to close within 90 days after receiving the necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals. On the Toronto Stock Exchange, Coastal’s stock (TSX:COA) was up than 20 per cent from the pre-announcement close." Read more.