The company is combining with Luxottica.
Hubert Sagnières, CEO of Essilor, told the Financial Times that his company's plan to merge with Italian eyewear maker Luxottica is a case of seizing an opportunity.
Sagnières said there was "nothing broken" at his company, which is based in France and makes lenses as well as instruments and equipment.
But sticking with lenses and not frames meant the company was "missing so much of the market," he told the Times. The newspaper noted that the high end of the frames market brings more substantial margins than the lens business.
Although some critics say the combined company will have too much power, Sagnières says the merger will be positive for customers, who will benefit from greater efficiency.
The Times reported that one goal for the combined company is to work on "wearable" technology — glasses with various high-tech functions.
"We will have eyeglasses that tell you the rate of UV today," Sagnières said, "or that can display messages from other people."
He offered no timeframe for such projects.
Essilor and Luxottica said in January they would merge to form EssilorLuxottica.
Read more at the Financial Times
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