January 18, 2017
The Italian owner of Foothill Ranch, CA-based Oakley is merging with French lens maker Essilor in a deal valued at $49 billion. The combined company, EssilorLuxottica, would emerge as the largest in the eye wear industry, once the deal closes later this year, following regulatory and shareholder approval.
The merger brings together lens manufacturing operations for prescription glasses, sunglasses, and frames, and creates a strong brand lineup, as well as massive retail footprint, both online and in stores. Products are sold at Foster Grant, Oliver Peoples, Persol, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut.
Oakley’s presence in Orange County has shrunk, as several Oakley divisions are integrated with Luxottica facilities in Ohio, New York and Italy, which Oakley said affects roughly 15- to 20%-percent of its Orange County workforce. The company plans to still employ roughly 2,000 in Orange County, and at an office in Encinitas.
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