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EssilorLuxottica Enters Fortune Magazine’s 2019 Change the World List

It’s at the 17th spot on the list.

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(PRESS RELEASE) EssilorLuxottica has made Fortune magazine’s 2019 Change the World list, taking the 17th spot on this annual prestigious list, which recognizes companies that have had a positive social impact through activities that are part of their core business strategy. Among 52 companies, the Group is honored in particular for its commitment to bring good vision for everyone everywhere and eradicate poor vision, as part of its mission to help people ‘see more, be more and live life to its fullest’.

Even though a pair of eyeglasses can answer most of the world’s vision needs while protecting and framing the beauty of our eyes, the lack of awareness and access have led to a global vision crisis with severe social and economic consequences for billions of people.

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The ranking highlights EssilorLuxottica’s efforts of “doing well by doing good” and how its action to address issues of vision health across the world has a significant positive social impact on people’s lives, while also representing a significant shared value opportunity. With 6.6 billion people on the planet estimated to be in need of vision correction by 2050, of which 5 billion will be affected by the myopia epidemic, taking action without delay is key.

Hence, EssilorLuxottica exists to give vision a voice and respond to the world’s growing vision needs by meeting the changing lifestyles of existing consumers and inventing new ways to reach the 2.5 billion people who suffer from uncorrected poor vision and the 6 billion people who do not protect their eyes from harmful rays.

One of the Group’s initiatives include the launch of the 2.5 New Vision Generation (2.5NVG) and BoP Innovation lab by Essilor in 2013, a line of more affordable and stylish prescription glasses targeted at the 2.5 billion people who suffer from uncorrected poor vision, of which 90% live in base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) economies. With the help of more than 600 partners – from governments to NGOs to corporates – 2.5 NVG and the BoP Innovation Lab have enabled access to a pair of glasses for more than 25 million people across 62 countries in need of vision correction, and empowered nearly 12,000 micro-entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses, providing sustainable access to vision care to 250 million people.

Luxottica as well, through its support for OneSight, an independent non-profit organization of which the company is the founding sponsor, provides access to quality vision care and glasses in underserved communities worldwide. Since 1988, OneSight has partnered with local health organizations, governments, school districts, industry leaders, doctors and volunteers impacting over 21 million people in 49 countries and counting—creating opportunity and sustainable change along the way. So far, it has established 131 sustainable centers in countries like Rwanda, China and the United States, and hosted over 1,420 charitable clinics globally.

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Pleased to be recognized by Fortune on their 2019 Change the World list, Jayanth Bhuvaraghan, head of mission at EssilorLuxottica, commented: “Eradicating poor vision is not only a unique business opportunity but a big responsibility for us as an industry leader. If nothing is done, billions of people in the world will continue to suffer from uncorrected poor vision. This will not only have negative social and personal repercussions but will also severely impact various economies in the world. Therefore, we strive to drive innovation across the market with the goal of providing the best vision care solutions, creating and establishing access points, awareness for good vision and bring good vision and quality products to everyone everywhere in the world.”

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Marcolin Group Enters a Partnership with Positive Luxury

This is by sponsoring the inaugural Positive Luxury Awards 2020.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Marcolin Group, a worldwide leading company in the eyewear industry, announces its partnership with Positive Luxury for their first edition of the Positive Luxury Awards. The ceremony is taking place in London on the 25th of February 2020 and the Group will present the Innovation of the Year Award.

Founded in 2011, Positive Luxury is an award-winning sustainability platform that connects luxury brands with people working towards a better future through the unique Butterfly Mark, a symbol of trust earned by brands that have adopted sustainability as a key business principle.

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The Positive Luxury Awards 2020 is a global celebration of sustainability and innovation within the luxury industry, featuring a variety of categories recognizing companies or individuals affecting positive change in businesses and the global community.

Marcolin Group will sponsor the Innovation of the Year Award which identifies true innovators taking an entirely new approach to their service, product, technology or business model, improving their social or environmental performance while also offering large scale improvements internally and externally.

The evening’s winners will be selected by a special jury consisting of 12 global business leaders, including American-British model and activist, Arizona Muse, United Nations officer, Simone Cipriani, author of The New Green Consumer Guide, Julia Hailes, business writer and advisor, John Elkington, author and British Fashion Council’s Advisory Board member, Frances Corner, model, actress and activist, Amber Valletta, Parsons School of Design Dean of Fashion, Burak Cakmak, communications consultant and writer, Emma Young, journalist and author, Isabelle Lefort, Business for Social

Responsibility Managing Director, Elisa Niemtzow, and Imagine Co-founder and International Chamber of Commerce Chair, Paul Polman.

Massimo Renon, Marcolin Group CEO, affirmed: “Marcolin Group is the first international eyewear company collaborating with Positive Luxury. We will demonstrate to our partners and consumers that we are tracing a new path in the sustainability. Our relentless pursuit of innovation and experimentation has led Marcolin Group to become the first sponsor for The Positive Luxury Innovation of the Year Award”.

Diana Verde Nieto, Co-Founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, stated: “Marcolin Group’s commitment to craftsmanship and quality has helped them build an unparalleled reputation in the eyewear industry. We are proud to work with them and have their support for the Positive Luxury Awards 2020, more specifically, the Innovation of the Year Award”.

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Press Releases

Safilo Group Acquires 70% of Blenders Eyewear

The effects of the acquisition will be reflected in the new Business Plan that Safilo will disclose to the  market on December 11, 2019.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Safilo Group announces the acquisition of a 70% stake in the equity of the California company Blenders Eyewear LLC (the “Company”). Safilo Group purchased the stake from the company’s founding entrepreneur and full owner.

Founded in San Diego in 2012 by Chase Fisher, Blenders Eyewear has built an advanced e-commerce platform with unique digital and social media skills, which has achieved fast and profitable growth thanks to its world-class digital capabilities. The Company generates approximately 95% of its current business through its proprietary direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform, more recently complemented by the opening of the first Blenders flagship store in San Diego.

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Blenders Eyewear’s products are inspired by the California active and progressive lifestyle and offer a compelling price-to-value eyewear proposition, particularly appealing to a broad range of consumers with a focus on Millennials and Generation Z, both female and male.

The brand, profitable since its inception and with strong current profitability, has fuelled its rapid growth through highly effective social marketing strategies, partnering with influencers, athletes, lifestyle
enthusiasts, and product collaborations which have driven sales and brand awareness.

In 2019 the Company expects to reach profitable net sales of approximately USD 42 million, all generated in the United States and up around 40% compared to the previous year and with a 3-year CAGR of 175%.

Angelo Trocchia, Safilo’s chief executive officer, said: “We are thrilled to welcome to Safilo an inspiring brand like Blenders Eyewear, a fast-growing e-commerce-powered business at the forefront of the latest direct to consumer and omni-channel capabilities, which will enrich our proprietary portfolio with new strong skills and a particular focus on our key US market.

Blenders is a disruptive, digitally native business model, founded on the principle of providing high quality lifestyle and active eyewear, at affordable prices and with engaging brand content. A strong proposition rooted in a rapid expansion of brand awareness among its natural, fast growing customer audience of Millennials and Generation Z. Blenders is entrenched in today’s social sphere and is experiencing significant social media success.

With Blenders, we aim to foster and accelerate our e-commerce and omni-channel strategy, leveraging on the digital DNA and proven capabilities of the brand and putting Safilo’s global capabilities at its disposal to enable global expansion of the brand.”

Chase Fisher, founder and CEO of Blenders Eyewear commented: “This marks a huge step forward for Blenders and we’re excited to be part of Safilo to reach a wider marketplace. Safilo’s product know-how and global distribution capabilities are the perfect complement to our digitally native business model, opening up worldwide expansion potential. We’re on a mission to build a thriving global community that inspires people to live in forward motion.”

Safilo acquired the 70% controlling interest in the Company, based on a total value on a cash-and debt free basis (Enterprise Value for 100% of the Company) equal to USD 90 million. The cash
consideration to be paid at closing is subject to customary price adjustments. The closing of the transaction is subject to conditions precedent including some related to the activities of the Company.

Chase Fisher will retain full ownership of 30% of the shares and, pursuant to the share purchase agreement, these remaining equity interests are subject to customary reciprocal put and call options which can be exercised starting from 2023. Chase Fisher will remain CEO of Blenders Eyewear which will continue to run out of its San Diego home.

The acquisition will be financed through available cash and credit facilities, and through a loan provided by Safilo’s reference shareholder, Multibrands Italy B.V., controlled by HAL Holding N.V, for an amount of EUR 30 million which the company aims to draw for the closing of the transaction.

The transaction executed with Multibrands Italy B.V. represents a “transaction with a related party of greater importance” as the Equivalent-value relevance ratio (i.e. the ratio between the counter value of the loan and the consolidated shareholders’ equity as at June 30, 2019) is above the threshold of 5%. As such, the execution of the loan has been approved by the Board of Directors on December 1st, 2019 upon the favorable opinion of the Related Parties Committee dated November 29th, 2019, on the interest of the Group in entering the loan and on the convenience and substantial fairness of the relevant terms and conditions.

The required informative document will be made available within the timeframe provided for by the law.

The effects of the acquisition will be reflected in the new Business Plan that Safilo will disclose to the  market on December 11, 2019.

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Bollé Brands Adds to North American Marketing Team

Appoints industry veteran Chris Abbruzzese to VP trade marketing role.

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(PRESS RELEASE) BOSTON, MA — Chris Abbruzzese has been named vice president of Trade Marketing for Bollé Brands, North America.

Abbruzzese will be responsible for developing trade marketing strategies that align with Bollé’s global brand strategies. In this new role, Abbruzzese will act as the key bridge between global marketing and product teams and the North American sales team with an emphasis on in-store programs that promote retail success and drive sell-through.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Chris to the team and excited to have him help us take these great brands to the next level,” said Peter Smith, CEO of Bollé Brands

Abbruzzese brings 15 years of experience with Maui Jim Sunglasses, where he served as VP, Global Marketing. In that role, he developed and executed global marketing initiatives for the high-end sunglass line. As a member of the core team, he was instrumental in the early growth and expansion of the brand internationally.

Abbruzzese has also performed marketing and sales consulting services for clients in the outdoor, home automation, energy, optical, and digital fabrication industries.

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