LVMH Said Close to Buying Marcolin Stake to Expand Production


 Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- LVMH is nearing a bid for a minority stake in Italian glasses-maker Marcolin SpA as part of a plan to expand eyewear production for its luxury brands, according to people familiar with the matter.

The world’s largest luxury-goods company may buy 10 percent of Marcolin, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The stake sale could value all of Marcolin, owned by buyout firm PAI Partners, at as much as 500 million euros ($531 million), one of the people said. A deal could be announced as soon as this month, though no final decisions have been made, the people said.

LVMH would get more control over the production process at the company, which currently manufactures its Emilio Pucci line of glasses, and may ultimately make Marcolin a production hub for its other brands, including Celine, the people said. The agreement could also involve investing in Marcolin’s Italian manufacturing operations, as well as the creation of a new company that could eventually absorb all of LVMH’s eyewear licenses, one of the people said.

It could mark the second deal in the industry this month after Essilor International SA agreed to buy Ray-Ban sunglasses-maker Luxottica Group SpA for about 22.8 billion euros, combining the largest eyewear manufacturer and retailer. PAI bought about 80 percent of Marcolin in 2012 in a deal that valued the company at 282 million euros. Marcolin makes sunglasses for brands including Tod’s and Diesel.

Representatives for LVMH and Marcolin declined to comment. PAI didn’t have an immediate comment.

Celine has an agreement to manufacture its glasses with Safilo Group SpA, which is due to terminate at the end of 2017.

--With assistance from Chiara Remondini Michael Roschnotti Sarah Syed Maria Ermakova and Corinne Gretler To contact the reporters on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net, Daniele Lepido in Milan at dlepido1@bloomberg.net, Manuel Baigorri in London at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Amy Thomson, Paul Jarvis

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