Thursday, February 09, 2006

Oakley Buys Luxury Eyewear Maker

Oakley Inc., whose high-tech sunglasses are worn by world-class athletes in several sports, said Wednesday that it bought privately held Oliver Peoples Inc., whose classic spectacles have been seen on celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

The acquisition — valued at $46.7 million, excluding the assumption of debt and incentives — is the first in the 35-year history of Foothill Ranch-based Oakley. Company executives said the deal with Oliver Peoples would enable Oakley to extend its reach while remaining true to its own branding.

"We are partnering with someone whose products are a little more premium, a little more fashionable and in a zone of the market that would not be appropriate for us to do with the Oakley brand," Chief Executive Scott Olivet said. "So we looked at who would be a great partner in that and we found them."

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