Cole National accepts Luxottica's final offer

August 15, 2004

Cleveland-Shareholders of Cole National Corp., the parent company of Pearl Vision, Sears Optical eyewear shops, and Things Remembered gift stores, have approved an amended deal to merge with Italian eyewear manufacturer Luxottica Group SpA.

Cleveland-Shareholders of Cole National Corp., the parent company of Pearl Vision, Sears Optical eyewear shops, and Things Remembered gift stores, have approved an amended deal to merge with Italian eyewear manufacturer Luxottica Group SpA.

The new $495 million deal increases Cole National's per-share price from $22.50 to $27.50 following a tumultuous process that saw several simultaneous bidders driving the price up from the original $19.65 price Luxottica offered in July 2003. Moulin International Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong, the largest eyewear manufacturer in Asia, had jumped into the game in April 2004, just days before a stockholder meeting to consider the Luxottica offer. However, Moulin ran into trouble securing financing, giving Luxottica time to increase its offer.

The deal gives Luxottica some 2,200 additional outlets around the country. Cole Vision last posted a profit in fiscal 2000, and last year reported a $10.7 million loss.