SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Two makers of injection molded plastic eyewear are poised to become one. Bacou USA, parent company of Uvex Safety Inc. in Smithfield, announced May 4 plans to acquire Titmus Optical Inc., a leading maker of prescription safety eyewear based in Petersburg, Va.
The resulting company is expected to realize $100 million in total sales this year, said Michael McWilliams, a Uvex spokesman.
Uvex officials described the proposed acquisition as ``a perfect fit,'' because Uvex is a leading manufacturer of nonprescription, injection molded plastic protection eyewear.
Titmus, meanwhile, combines metal components with injection molded plastic prescription optics to produce eyewear that precludes the need for sight-impaired people to wear two separate pieces of eyewear in an industrial set-ting.
Uvex anticipates total sales of about $70 million for fiscal 1995, which ends in September, while Titmus expects sales of $35 million in the same period.
McWilliams said that once the deal is completed, Bacou USA intends to proceed with Titmus' previous plans to build a production facility later this year, at an undetermined site.
Bacou USA said in a news release that it plans to keep the existing Titmus management team in place.
Uvex uses a proprietary hydrophilic, anti-fogging coating, McWilliams said. He declined to provide details about the firm's materials.
Separately, Bacou USA also expanded another part of its safety business, acquiring Pro-Tech Respirators Inc., which McWilliams said manufactures a line of personal respirators for workers in industrial settings.
Uvex, formerly a subsidiary of Uvex Winter Optical GmbH of Germany, a leading ski and recreational eyewear manufacturer, was acquired in December by Bacou USA, a subsidiary of Paris-based Bacou Group, parent of a number of safety-device companies.
Uvex became the U.S. headquarters of Bacou USA after the acquisition. Henri Bacou, chairman and chief executive of the Paris company, was named entrepreneur of the year for 1994 by L'Enterprise magazine, the European counterpart of U.S.-based Inc. magazine.
Titmus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Carl Zeiss Inc., a Thornwood, N.Y., subsidiary of Zeiss Ober-Kochen GmbH.
Zeiss Ober-Kochen, based in Ober-Kochen, Germany, develops and designs glass and plastic optical products for precision applications such as microscopes and photography.
Debbie Clark, Titmus marketing and communications manager, stressed that the deal still is preliminary and subject to approvals. However, Clark said the transaction makes sense, given Zeiss' desire to focus on its main precision optical business.