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Safilo Buys $68M Majority Stake in Privé Revaux

Several celebrities will still hold a small share.

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Safilo Group has acquired a 61.34 percent equity interest in the Miami-based company Prive Goods LLC (Privé Revaux).

David Schottenstein, Prive’s founding entrepreneur and CEO, retains 15.5 percent of the equity, while the remainder is held by celebrities Jamie Foxx, Hailee Steinfeld and Ashley Benson, senior management of the company, and certain other investors. Private equity fund TSG Consumer Partners and its affiliates sold their entire stake in Privé Revaux to Safilo Group and other equity holders.

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The overall consideration for the 61.34 percent controlling interest is 67.5 million, according to a press release from Safilo.

Founded in 2017, Privé Revaux is “fueled by a strategic celebrity ecosystem, merged in high caliber social media engagement and strong digital marketing capabilities,” according to the release.

Privé Revaux has extended its assortment of frames beyond traditional sunglasses into blue light blocking glasses to combat digital eye strain and has brought its “unique, fashion-forward perspective” to reading glasses, according to the release. The company distributes through a broad set of channels and retail partners, both online and offline.

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The brand has “levered its celebrity appeal to new customers through a distinctive capsule collection program of co-branded styles designed by major celebrity influencers, and is continually adding to its roster of talent with new collections seasonally,” the release explains.

In 2019, Privé Revaux recorded net sales of about $20 million, up around 90 percent compared to the previous year.

Angelo Trocchia, CEO of Safilo, said: “We are very pleased to enrich our proprietary brand portfolio with Privé Revaux, a fast-growing US-origin brand, which contributes a millennial-focused digital marketing strategy and whose mission is to offer affordable, high-quality, beautifully designed eyewear, using celebrities’ endorsements to drive brand awareness and sales.

“Privé Revaux has successfully created a repeatable and scalable strategy with celebrity capsule programs that can be introduced into various markets around the world, a consumer-centric marketing model from which we can learn and leverage on, while putting our capabilities at its disposal for its global expansion.”

David Schottenstein, founder and CEO of Privé Revaux, said: “This is a monumental moment for Privé Revaux, and a true turning point in our business. We have worked tirelessly to bring consumers tangible quality and style when it comes to eyewear, at a fair and reasonable price and Safilo believes in our vision and goal. I couldn’t be prouder of what this brand has accomplished in only a few short years, and with Safilo in our corner, the sky’s the limit.”

Jamie Foxx, partner and co-founder of Privé Revaux, said, “When we started Privé Revaux we knew we were going to shake things up, we just didn’t realize how quickly and to what extent. Now, with Safilo’s know-how and expertise, we can turbo charge this and take it to a completely different level, on a global scale.”

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Hailee Steinfeld, partner and co-founder of Privé Revaux, said, “Getting together with a company like Safilo is truly an honor and really says a lot about who we are as a brand. Looking at our opportunities, both in terms of continuing to grow Privé Revaux and in terms of really helping to grow Safilo’s existing brands, it is obvious to me that this made sense and was meant to be. I am so excited for the coming years and am very much looking forward to working with Safilo.”

Ashley Benson, partner and co-founder, Privé Revaux, said, “We live in a fast-changing world, specifically a fast-changing retail world. Clearly Safilo has the vision to see that Privé Revaux can help Safilo create something new in eyewear and I very much look forward to being a part of that.”

In other details of the deal:

The equity interests held by David Schottenstein and the other minority equity holders are subject to customary reciprocal put and call options which can be exercised starting from 2023. David Schottenstein will remain CEO of Privé Revaux which will continue to run out of its Miami headquarters.

The acquisition has been financed partially through a loan provided by Safilo’s reference shareholder, Multibrands Italy B.V., controlled by HAL Holding N.V., and for the remaining portion through available resources.

With respect to the Company’s communication on December 9th, 2019, the financing contract approved by Safilo’s Board of Directors on December 1st, 2019 has been replaced by a new single financing contract entered into between Safilo S.p.A. and Multibrands Italy B.V on February 6th, 2020 for a total amount of EUR 90 million. As mentioned above, this single loan agreement is aimed at financing in part, for Euro 30 million, the acquisition of Privé Revaux, and at fully financing the acquisition of Blenders Eyewear LLC, as communicated to the market on December, 9th, 2019, upon its closing date.

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The loan is subordinated to Safilo Group’s existing financing signed in October 2018 with its lending banks.

The loan 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 30th, 2019) is above the threshold of 5%.

As such, the execution of the loan agreement has been approved by the Board of Directors on February 6th, 2020 upon the favourable opinion of the Related Parties Committee dated February 4th, 2020, 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.

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Essilor International Gets New CEO

He’ll serve on the board of directors of EssilorLuxottica.

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CHARENTON-LE-PONT, FRANCE – The board of directors of EssilorLuxottica has named Paul du Saillant as a director of the company in place of Laurent Vacherot, former CEO of Essilor International, who retired.

Effective immediately, du Saillant will take over Vacherot’s responsibilities, including the role of CEO for Essilor International and the coexecutive delegate powers previously granted to Vacherot on May 13, 2019, by Leonardo Del Vecchio, executive chairman, and Hubert Sagnières, executive vice chairman. He will work directly with Francesco Milleri, deputy chairman and CEO of Luxottica Group, “to develop and implement the EssilorLuxottica strategy and integration process,” according to a press release.

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In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the board also decided today to postpone the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting from May 15 to June 25 and to hold it behind closed doors.

Additionally, the board decided to re-evaluate its previous decision on dividend distribution announced on March 6, 2020, at a later date. “At such later date, the Board of Directors may decide whether to confirm, reduce or cancel dividends based on the evolution of the situation,” according to the release.

Essilor and Luxottica completed a merger in October 2018 to form EssilorLuxottica. The organization was then plagued by infighting among its leadership.

In May 2019, a new settlement agreement addressed governance issues and set the basis for a “renewed start of profound collaboration” between Essilor and Luxottica.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, “EssilorLuxottica and the two operating companies are implementing a contingency plan including cost and cash control measures, putting on hold non-crucial investment initiatives and rightsizing global capacity to meet current demand levels,” according to a March 27 press release.

The company stated that in light of the pandemic, its outlook for 2020 published on March 6 “is no longer valid.”

“During the second quarter, the Company expects revenue to further decelerate with a material impact on profitability,” the company stated. “At present, the Company has insufficient visibility to provide an assessment of the full scope of COVID-19 impact, as the situation remains volatile.”

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Stimulus Loans Could Be a $350B Payroll Lifeline for Small Businesses

In many cases the loans are forgivable.

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The stimulus bill signed into law by President Donald Trump last week includes $350 billion in loans for small businesses.

The loan provisions, known as the Paycheck Protection Program, are part of an overall relief package worth $2 trillion, Inc. notes. The goal is to provide individuals and businesses an economic lifeline during the COVID-19 crisis.

The loans are meant to cover up to 10 weeks of payroll expenses, up to a maximum of $10 million.  The money could be available within two weeks.

Inc. notes that the loans “can be converted into forgivable grants so long as the company doesn’t lay off employees.”

More details of the program are available here.

For more information on getting through these times, check out our COVID-19 Resource Center.

Read more at Inc.

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COVID-19 Resource Center for ECPs

Find advice on how to apply for benefits and tax breaks, communication toolkits, FAQs about your obligations as an employer, databases, disease trackers and more.

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COVID-2019

THREE SEPARATE PACKAGES approved by Congress over the past few weeks represent a more than $2-trillion dollar effort by the federal government to help Americans — and in some cases, small business owners specifically — deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As massive as that relief package is, it represents only a part of the assistance that’s available. Below are links to a wealth of resources from government, industry, corporate and community organizations that will help you deal with this unprecedented challenge. The list includes advice on how to apply for benefits and tax breaks, communication toolkits, FAQs about your obligations as an employer, databases, disease trackers and more. We’ll continue to update the list over the coming weeks. If you come across a great resource yourself or have an experience to share about applying for federal or other assistance, please let us know. We’re all in this together.

Places to Start

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has an excellent breakdown of all the federal programs and aid for small business coronavirus assistance here.

The AOA offers guidance and updates to doctors of optometry at its dedicated coronavirus page.

Justworks.com, an HR solutions company, provides advice on applying for tax refunds, employee leave and other obligations, working-from-home tips along with a handy FAQ section.

Federal

Much of the assistance to small businesses is being channeled through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which has a coronavirus resource page listing special loans, relief programs and the other assistance that is available to small business owners. You can find guidance on the loans here.

Meanwhile, the actual loan application page is here.

Need help interpreting the forms? SCORE, the volunteer business advice group, is offering assistance in filling out the SBA loan applications as well as running workshops and provding remote mentoring.

Taxes

To ease the strain on businesses, the federal tax return filing deadline has been pushed back to July 15, with businesses allowed to defer up to $10 million in payments, interest free. The IRS has provided details here.

There are also many tax breaks and credits available for employers who keep staff on or provide paid leave to sick workers or those looking after sick family members. More information on those tax changes can be found here.

Several states have already aligned their tax filing and payment deadlines with the new federal deadline. You can find out whether your business has more time to file or more time to pay state and local taxes this year as a result of the coronavirus here.

A list of similar initiatives in various states is available from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Corporate

Facebook has pledged to give up to 30,000 small businesses a total of $100 million in cash grants and Facebook advertising credits.

If you have team-members working remotely, Microsoft Teams is now free for use. The program includes a chat feature, video calling, 10 GB of storage for the entire team, 2 GB storage in a personal file plus various Office apps.

Many newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The New York Times have dropped their firewalls for coronavirus coverage. The Times’ dedicated section offers the latest news on the virus and features on topics such as layoffs and reduced hours as well as more general health FAQs.

An unemployment benefits finder is available here.

Specific Industry Resources

The Vision Council has assembled a “Coronavirus Implications” page with resources for eyecare professionals, including a state-by-state list to help determine which businesses can remain open and which must be closed during the COVID-19 crisis.

Tools

To help you manage your business through the coronavirus crisis, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a toolkit for businesses and a customizable flyer for businesses to communicate their coronavirus efforts to customers.

Assess the potential impact to your business and gauge your readiness to respond with this COVID-19 Navigator from PwC.

Facebook is also offering a Resilience Toolkit “to help you prepare for disaster” and a Quick Action Guide to help you plan your emergency response and minimize downtime.

General

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the best sources for accurate coronavirus information, with material available on infections in a business setting (how to implement social distancing, for example), printable hygiene posters and more resources for businesses and employees. The main page is here.

Need information on state or territorial health department? Here is a link to health departments in all 50 states, eight U.S. territories and freely associated states, and the District of Columbia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has a plethora of information available, including reliable and up-to-date news on the coronavirus, travel advice, and an interactive COVID-19 dashboard.

The Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance on on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 that you can download here.

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