Essilor International, the global optics company based outside of Paris, completed its previously announced merger agreement with Costa Inc., owner of the Costa and Native eyewear brands.
Through this agreement, Costa will serve as a proving ground for sun lens technology developments, allowing the brand to continue bringing the finest sun lenses to the fishing and outdoor market, while taking eye protection, visual experience and lens durability to new levels. Costa also owns the Native sunglasses brand, which got its start in mountain sports.
“This is a positive development for Costa, Inc. and for fans of the Costa brand,” said Chas MacDonald, president of Costa Sunglasses. “As a member of the Essilor family, we’ll maximize their world class resources and technology to develop the next several generations of lens technology, while continuing our growth in the U.S. and internationally, especially within the Rx realm. We remain committed to building the best performance sunglasses for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere, and supporting the programs most important to them.”
The merger also enables Costa to leverage Essilor's expertise in surface coatings to develop innovative products in response to specific needs, such as anti-fog or hydrophobic lenses. In the prescription sunglasses segment, Essilor and Costa will work together to broaden product offerings.
“Costa’s superior lens performance, which enhances the visual experience and eye protection for outdoors enthusiasts, is a perfect match for Essilor,” said Eric Thoreux, in charge of Essilor’s Readers & Sun strategy. “Through our technology resources, you’ll see new performance features built into the future of Costa’s sunglasses, exceeding the already high expectations Costa’s customers have come to expect.”
Costa will remain based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with no immediate changes to its operations or distribution.
Essilor allocates more than €150 million to research and innovation every year, in a commitment to continuously bring new, more effective products to market. It's flagship brands are Varilux, Crizal, Definity, Xperio, Optifog and Foster Grant. It also develops and markets equipment, instruments and services for eyecare professionals. The company reported consolidated revenue of nearly €5 billion in 2012 and employs around 50,700 people. It operates in more than 100 countries with 22 plants, more than 400 prescription laboratories and edging facilities, as well as several research and development centers around the world.