Sola International Inc. has bolstered its plastic prescription eyewear business by acquiring assets of Optical Electroforming Inc. of Clearwater, Fla.
Optical Electroforming makes molds and inserts for production of polycarbonate and acrylic lenses. Jeremy Bishop, Sola president and chief executive officer, said PC is his firm's fastest-growing category. The transaction, announced July 2, reduces Sola's reliance on outside suppliers, Bishop added by telephone.
The acquired business will be a stand-alone division, but will be linked to Sola's Oracle Lens Manufacturing division and share technology with Oracle, according to Bob Miniutti, Oracle president. Optical Electroforming will help Oracle penetrate the private-label market and streamline its custom lens product line.
Sola has been consolidating global production to cut costs in a weak market for eyeglasses. The program included lens-production cutbacks at Sola's Petaluma, Calif., facility in favor of lower-cost facilities in Mexico, Brazil and China. Sola officials were unavailable to explain the impact of the Optical Electroforming purchase on Petaluma's lens molds operation.
Sola recently signed a new licensing agreement with DuPont Fluoroproducts to use Teflon for anti-reflection eyewear coatings.
San Diego-based Sola said in a recent report that its investments in PC lenses and the restructuring helped it achieve profit of $9.2 million in the fourth quarter, ended March 31, compared with a $2.4 million loss a year earlier.