Luxottica announces agreement to acquire glasses.com from WellPoint, Inc.
Through the agreement to acquire glasses.com, Luxottica will invest in innovations to create an enhanced online experience that will be accessible to the independent practitioners in North America
Milan (Italy), January 7, 2014 – Luxottica Group S.p.A. (MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX), a leader in the design, manufacture, distribution and sale of fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, announces today it has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire glasses.com from WellPoint Inc. subject to customary closing conditions.
“Today we are announcing the agreement to acquire a technology which we believe will benefit the overall eyewear sector and the optical industry in North America, a crucial market for our group and one we remain strongly committed to” said Andrea Guerra, Chief Executive Officer at Luxottica. “The acquisition will function as a starting point to shape an independent, digital platform through which the North American market can and will access the unique domain, innovating the shopping experience and improving the quality of products and services available to consumers.”
The eyewear industry in North America is estimated today to be a USD 35.5 billion market with the opportunity to grow to USD 44-47 billion by 2020 according to Vision Council and Company estimates. Demographic factors, such as an increase in the number of individuals needing vision correction products, the projected increase in eye exams each year, and the greater penetration of premium eyewear are all expected to drive continued growth.
Luxottica believes that the investment in technology and the development of an accessible digital platform for the North American trade are crucial next steps in developing the market to its full potential. By investing in online innovation and providing accessibility to independent practitioners, Luxottica can offer both the doctor and the consumer a unique seamlessly integrated, superior experience.
The acquisition of glasses.com will not have a material impact on Luxottica's consolidated financial statement. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
About WellPoint Inc. and glasses.com
WellPoint is one of the nation’s largest health benefits companies serving members in 14 states as an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and customers in other states through its Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. In particular, glasses.com belongs to WellPoint Inc. and today it is one of the most advanced digital environments in North America for the eyewear industry. glasses.com has proprietary virtual try-on technology. This technology, which uses a 3-dimensional image of the consumer’s face, allows the consumer to try on glasses with real likeness. The technology enables the customer to see the frame in detail from multiple angles. It also allows customers to send frame options to friends and family for their input and opinion, leveraging today’s social media tools. Use of the technology is available direct to customers via free iPhone and iPad apps.