Essilor International and Costa Inc. have announced the signature of an agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Costa Inc., a US leader in high-performance sunglasses. Previously known as A.T. Cross, Lincoln, RI-based Costa Inc. (NASDAQ: ATX) designs, assembles and markets sunglasses under the Costa® and Native® brands. It is expected to report approximately $100 million in revenue in 20131.
Introduced in 1983 and primarily marketed through eyecare professionals and sporting goods retailers, Costa® has become the fastest growing performance sunglass brand in the United States. As the leading producer of one of the superior clarity polarized performance sunglasses, Costa® is most known for its patented 580 lens technology, which offers color enhancement and increased visual acuity. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa’s sunglasses are backed by a lifetime warranty. Their unparalleled fit and durability have made them a leading choice of serious water sports enthusiasts.
While Costa currently derives the majority of its revenue from the Southeastern United States, it intends to capitalize on its products’ reputation and proven brand and distribution strategies to accelerate its geographic expansion, in other parts of the U.S. and internationally.
In addition, stronger sales of prescription sun lenses, which today account for just 5% of revenue, will offer another growth lever, in particular under Essilor’s leadership.
Commenting on the acquisition, Hubert Sagnières, Essilor’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, “The high quality sunglasses and prescription sun lens segment offers high potential given its low penetration rate. Costa’s positioning, based on excellence, is perfectly aligned with Essilor’s commitment to continually raise vision quality standards and improve the performance of products available to consumers.
With Essilor’s support, Costa intends to develop solutions to satisfy the unmet needs of its