Kering and EssilorLuxottica possible suitors for Italy’s Marcolin: Report

Gucci-owner Kering and Ray-Ban parent EssilorLuxottica are among the suitors for Italian eyewear manufacturer Marcolin, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

New York-headquartered eyewear maker Marchon has also expressed an interest, the FT added citing a single source.

Reuters had reported last month that top managers at Marcolin — which produces Tom Ford spectacles — have started meeting potential suitors while they prepare the company for a merger or sale by renewing a series of key licensing accords.

Marcolin’s owner, private equity firm PAI Partners, is seeking a valuation of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for the company, the FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

PAI, which bought Marcolin in 2012, has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser as it prepares the company for sale, Reuters reported, citing sources close to the matter.

PAI declined to comment on the FT report, while Marcolin, Kering, EssilorLuxottica, Safilo and Marchon did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

EssilorLuxottica would be the best fit for Marcolin, the FT said, adding that Milan-listed Safilo had also looked at the company but views it as an “opportunistic add-on” and is the least likely buyer.

Marcolin, which has operations in Italy’s eyewear manufacturing district in the country’s northeast, reported a 3 percent increase in revenue to 422 million euros in the first nine months of last year. Its adjusted core profit rose 28 percent to 65 million euros.

By Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; editor: Emelia Sithole-Matarise and David Holmes

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