U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 36 mins

Safilo Buys Majority Stake in Celebrity Eyewear Privé Revaux

Kim Bhasin

(Bloomberg) -- Italian eyewear company Safilo Group is acquiring a majority stake in celebrity-backed label Privé Revaux, which sells sunglasses and reading glasses co-branded through collaborations with the influential and famous.

The company is buying out the stake controlled by a group of investors including private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. Safilo will own 61% of the company, which had about $20 million in sales last year, nearly doubling revenue from the prior year, according to a statement Monday.

Privé Revaux was founded in 2017 by Chief Executive Officer David Schottenstein. Actors Jamie Foxx, Hailee Steinfeld and Ashley Benson are partners in the business. All will retain some equity in the company.

The brand expanded through wholesale deals with department stores including Kohl’s and Dillard’s, along with eyewear retailers like National Vision and shopping channel QVC. It uses an ecosystem of celebrities to promote its sunglasses and eyeglasses, teaming up with names like model Adriana Lima and actress Madelaine Petsch to develop limited-edition collections and boost the label’s allure. Its latest line was a partnership with Disney star and “Descendants” actress Dove Cameron.

U.S. Footprint

Safilo, which owns the Carrera and Polaroid lines, adds another American brand to its portfolio. The Padua, Italy-based company bought American eyewear line Blenders in December in a deal that valued the label at $90 million.

Last month, Safilo posted preliminary sales results for 2019 of 939 million euros ($1.02 billion), down from a peak of 1.28 billion euros in 2011. The company has been looking to add new partners after losing some of its key licensed names in recent years, including Dior and Gucci.

“There is a strategic fit. It was very clear to me,” Safilo CEO Angelo Trocchia said in a phone interview Monday. Initial talks began five months ago when he and Schottenstein first met. Trocchia said he’d combine design know-how with Privé Revaux’s ability to connect with millennials to bolster the brand and enter new markets.

Under its new majority owner, Privé Revaux plans to start an online prescription lens operation and begin selling its glasses in Europe this spring. Safilo does business in 40 countries around the world.

(Updates with Safilo CEO’s comments in penultimate paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Bhasin in New York at kbhasin4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, Lisa Wolfson

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.