Oakley, Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire essentially all the assets of Eye Safety Systems, Inc., a supplier of military, law enforcement and firefighting protective eyewear, for $110 million cash.

“This acquisition represents another major step for Oakley in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core optics business,” said Scott Olivet, chief executive officer, Oakley, Inc. “ESS's brand and company reputation, strong goggle business, and breadth of distribution across military, fire fighting and law enforcement channels complement our existing military eyewear platform.

“Oakley is at its best when we work to solve the most difficult problems of the world's most demanding users — the exact same thing can be said of ESS,” continued Olivet. “By joining forces, we are combining two individually strong brands with remarkably similar core values, enhancing both of our abilities to provide the best product and highest quality service possible.”

“This represents an exceptional and timely opportunity for both ESS and Oakley. We believe that Oakley's design excellence, financial resources and international infrastructure will allow ESS to significantly expand its presence in the global protective eyewear markets,” said John Dondero, founder and president, Eye Safety Systems, Inc. “Our management team is enthusiastic about this transaction and believes this combination is an excellent step forward for our customers, employees, and most importantly the military, fire fighting and law enforcement professionals who rely daily on our eye protection equipment in their challenging work environments.”

“We are extremely proud of our military heritage and excited to combine a shared commitment to product research and development, advanced technology and excellent support for this important channel,” said Erick Poston, military business unit manager, Oakley, Inc. “ESS enables us to create a much broader product and distribution platform capable of enhancing service to our existing customers and creating potential for future growth.”

The acquisition's $110 million cash purchase price is subject to certain indemnities and post-close adjustments. Subject to customary closing conditions, the company expects the acquisition to be closed during the first half of 2007. Upon closing, the company expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive and estimates a partial year contribution of approximately $30 million to sales and approximately 5 cents earnings per share in 2007. Dondero will continue to lead the development and expansion of the business as its president.