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Essilor International announced it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Coastal Contacts (Coastal.com).
Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Coastal.com is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and on NASDAQ and reported revenue of CAD 218 million for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2013. Products are sold through several local websites covering mainly North America and Europe as well as the Asia-Pacific region and Brazil. The company has more than 5 million customers worldwide.
Essilor has been involved in online distribution for several years through its subsidiaries FramesDirect and EyeBuyDirect, and through MyOnlineOptical, a turnkey e-commerce engine that enables American eyecare professionals to offer an online complement to their in-store offerings.
Essilor is offering CAD 12.45 per Coastal.com share, which represents a premium of approximately 20% to the closing share price of CAD 10.39 per share on February 26, 2014 and approximately 42% to the weighted average price of CAD 8.74 quoted on the Toronto Stock Exchange over the last 60 trading days. The transaction represents a net equity value of approximately CAD 430 million.
The transaction will be structured as an arrangement under the Canada Business Corporations Act and is subject among others to the approval of the Competition Bureau in Canada and to that of Coastal.com’s shareholders. The transaction is expected to be complete by the end of April 2014.
In related news, Coastal.com has launched a new approach to its revolutionary home trial program that makes it easier for consumers to try and buy eyewear online.
The Try Before You Buy program will give customers their choice of glasses for a 30-day trial period with their prescription lenses included.
This trial program is the first of its kind in the optical industry and allows customers to try on several pairs of glasses in their prescription completely free.
Customers can order and try out their glasses with no cost for 30 days and keep only the eyeglasses they love.