Australia’s pigmented eyewear manufacturer Austin is taking its eye-wear business public after a year of growth, after announcing it was selling its pigmented sunglasses business to private equity firm WME.
Austin has sold its pigmentary sunglasses business for $2.5 billion to WME for a combined $2 billion.
The company said the deal, which closed in February, was worth $2bn.
“The combination of Austin and WME has enabled us to accelerate the development of our pigmented optics business,” Austin CEO Michael Hamer said in a statement.
Austin said its pigmentation eyewash business was worth more than $1 billion in sales in 2016 and it had $1.4 billion in revenue. “
We’re excited to see the new Austin brand in our stores and look forward to working with WME on this project.”
Austin said its pigmentation eyewash business was worth more than $1 billion in sales in 2016 and it had $1.4 billion in revenue.
The Australian Optics Alliance said the announcement raised eyebrows in the industry.
“While we appreciate Austin’s focus on innovation, the company still faces challenges and challenges in delivering the best quality and performance in pigmented lenses,” ANA CEO Richard Kallman said.
“For that reason, we believe Austin needs to make more investments to help accelerate its growth.”
Austins pigmented eyewear business has had mixed results with the Australian Opticians Association and ANA Australia.
ANA chief executive David Pemberton said the company had “slammed the door” on pigmented eyeshades and the industry as a whole.
“In light of the current low demand for pigmented technology, the ANA has recently advised Austin to halt its pigments business in order to focus on products that meet the needs of the health and beauty industries,” Mr Pemberson said.
Austins first pigmented product was a range of sunglasses that could be worn over a mask.
The glasses were also sold in other Australian countries.
Austens pigmented lens was made by the German firm, AstraZeneca.
Auston said its new pigmented range was expected to be available in early 2019.
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