MERGERS AND FLUCTUATIONS

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The seven companies comprising Silmo’s pioneers have successfully navigated the natural ebbs and flows of business.

Lunettes Grasset has been a major player in eyewear since 1895 and states, “Our company has always evolved following the mutations and requirements of its optician customers.”

Fourth generation family company Morel told VCPN in our June 2017 profile about the challenges the company experienced when it acquired its competitor Cottet in the 1990s.

More than 160 years old, French lens manufacturer BBGR has a policy of external growth and distribution that involves transforming longstanding distributors into affiliates since the 2000s.

Founded in 1950 in Oyonnax, France, (where Silmo also made its debut), Grosfilley was bought in 1985 by Pierre Andruetan, whose sons Gérand and Thierry, now president and general manager respectively, took over the business in the 2000s.

Louis Félix Lamy set up his company in 1810. Two world wars put business on hold, but the company survived beyond the 1940s in part by Louis’s grandson Robert Lamy associating with the National School of Opticianry in Morez in 1945 and even delivering frames himself by bicycle.

A wavefront pioneer, Luneau operates the Briot, Weco and Visionix brands. Subsidiary Luneau Technology USA includes Latham and Phillips Ophthalmic (LPO), acquired in 2013, and AIT, acquired in 2015.

The world’s largest lens manufacturer, Essilor, named when rivals Essel and Silor joined in 1972, is again in a major merger with the world’s largest frame manufacturer, Luxottica.

Change is inevitable, and while you can’t stop it, it’s how you react that determines your destiny.

Like these long-term successes, First Vision Media Group, the parent company of VCPN, is also going through its own transition following its acquisition by Ohio-based publishing company JFT Properties LLC and the departure of its founder, Frank Giammanco. While we have all come to rely on and will miss Frank’s maverick leadership, deep industry relationships and extensive optical experience, we embrace our new direction under the clear planning and eager optimism of our accomplished publisher Terry Tanker. Like the pioneers detailed above, we look forward to many years navigating the inevitable ebbs and flows of business.

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