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VSP Buys Marchon

The eyewear insurance company, has crossed over into the manufacturing sector in its latest acquisition of Marchon Eyewear.

Vision Service Plan (VSP), a Rancho Cordova, California-based vision insurance company, acquired eyewear manufacturer Marchon Eyewear, Inc. for $735 million in cash and debt.

Marchon manufactures the Airlock and Flexon eyewear collections, as well as licensed eyewear brands Calvin Klein, Coach, FENDI, Nautica, Nike and Oscar de la Renta.

Marchon, which was founded in 1993 and now employs over  2,500, will transition into an independent subsidiary, remaining in its present Melville, New York headquarters. Marchon president and chief executive Al Berg and executive vice president Larry Roth will retain their present positions in the new company. Altair Eyewear, presently owned by VSP, will become a division of Marchon and will remain in its Rancho Cordova, California headquarters.

“Given the rapidly changing eyecare marketplace, this is a win for Marchon, VSP and the optical industry, this merger will help us continue our vision for growth by expanding our products, services and programs to our global customer base,” Berg said.

Marchon presently own 50 percent of Eye Designs, a ophthalmic office design studio, which VSP will also acquire as part of the transaction.

VSP employs about 2,400 and owns several optical-realted affiliate companies, including VSP Labs and Eyefinity. VSP's 2007 revenue was $2.6 billion.

Reed Smith LLP acted as legal advisor for VSP in the transaction. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP was legal advisor for Marchon in the transaction.

 

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