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SynergEyes and Brien Holden Vision Institute Join Forces for Specialty Contact Lens Development

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(PRESS RELEASE) Carlsbad, CA, June 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SynergEyes, the leading hybrid specialty contact lens company, announces a new partnership with the Brien Holden Vision Institute, the leading translational vision correction center in the world to deliver advanced, customized vision correction for myopes and presbyopes.   The exclusive worldwide licensing agreement will enable the manufacturing of design technologies developed by Brien Holden Vision Institute, augmenting the SynergEyes presbyopic package by offering the latest designs on the hybrid contact lens platform.

With around half of the world’s population predicted to be myopic by 2050, and with the US “Baby Boomer” generation now fully presbyopic, it is crucial that technological innovation in contact lens design and manufacturing is translated into high performance products to manage these visual deficiencies.

The tailored hybrid contact lens enabled through this technology will allow eye care professionals to meet the needs of individual myopes and presbyopes, delivering precise correction and a high degree of comfort. “SynergEyes seeks to improve the quality-of-life for people by delivering on the hybrid platform innovative lens designs that solve age-old problems in a new way,” said James Kirchner, OD, President and CEO of SynergEyes.  “Working with a recognized worldwide leader like the Brien Holden Vision Institute, we plan to bring an extended depth-of-focus lens design onto the hybrid platform to the global market.”

Brien Holden Vision Institute has developed new optical designs that incorporate an extended depth of focus (EDOF) to provide optimal visual performance from distance to near with minimal ghosting. The EDOF lens provides a series of smooth, non-monotonic, power variations across the optic zone to deliberately manipulate multiple higher-order aberrations. The idea is to achieve an extension in depth of focus that would facilitate a balanced visual performance designed to satisfy presbyopes with low, medium and high-add requirements.

Prof. Kovin Naidoo Chief Executive Officer for Brien Holden Vision Institute, adds, “We are delighted to be partnering with SynergEyes to bring our novel EDOF designs in myopia and presbyopia management in specialty hybrid contact lenses and make them available to a broader market around the world. This is especially important for myopia, as our mission is to slow the progression of myopia in all children to reduce their risk of permanent vision impairment and address a looming public health crises.” 

About SynergEyes Inc.

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SynergEyes is the only advanced-technology, high-performance and OD-led contact lens company focused exclusively on the leading independent eye care professionals.  SynergEyes manufactures and markets hybrid contact lenses for astigmatism with Duette® and Duette® Progressive and the UltraHealth® lens for irregular corneas, all available with Tangible Hydra-PEG polymers. The SynergEyes portfolio also includes the SynergEyes VS scleral lens, SynergEyes corneal RGP designs and SimplifEyes daily disposable contact lenses. More information is available at synergeyes.com.

About Brien Holden Vision Institute

Brien Holden Vision Institute is a non-profit translational research, education and public health organization. It develops new solutions for vision care, especially for myopia and other refractive errors to eliminate vision impairment and avoidable blindness, thereby reducing disability and poverty.

Brien Holden Vision Institute is a social enterprise, investing the revenues from its work into creating scientific solutions and developing and delivering eye care and education programs.

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Press Releases

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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Press Releases

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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