An agreement between Italian eyewear manufacturers Safilo and Marcolin, with the former acquiring the latter, has been abandoned. The price offered would have been too low for the current owner, the Pai Partners fund.


One less suitor for the purchase of Italian eyewear manufacturer Marcolin.


According to internal sources quoted by the trade press, an agreement envisaged with its compatriot and competitor Safilo has finally been cancelled.


Safilo’s proposal was deemed insufficient by Marcolin’s owner, the investment fund Pai Partners, which was counting on a valuation of the company of 1.35 billion euros.


According to some observers, this price was also considered too ambitious by other takeover candidates. According to Glitz investigative media , Marcolin is losing money, particularly in the USA and China.


Before Safilo, another potential buyer, the Franco-Italian EssilorLuxottica, leader in optical lenses and equipment, had also closed the file after taking a look at it. Last April, CEO Francesco Milleri announced that the deal was “non-strategic” for his group…


Thélios not interested…


Another prominent player in the sector, Thélios, the Lvmh Group’s eyewear subsidiary, does not appear to have expressed any interest. This company was created in 2017 as a joint venture between the number one in luxury goods and…Marcolin. But by 2021, the latter had sold its 49% stake.


Although other major takeover candidates are said to be in the running, the sale of Marcolin will not necessarily be as easy as hoped for the French investment fund Pai Partners. After acquiring 78% of the eyewear manufacturer’s shares in 2012, the majority shareholder increased its stake to 83% at the end of 2019. In early 2024, it entrusted the sale to Goldman Sachs Bank.


Other potential buyers for Marcolin include competitors such as Marchon, De Rigo and Kering Eyewear, a subsidiary of Kering, and, in another category, the Hong Kong fund FountainVest.


De Rigo ruled out; Kering Eyewear the more credible candidate

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Featured Photo: © Pucci

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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