Oakley Agrees to Acquire Eye Safety Systems, Inc.
Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire essentially all the assets of Eye Safety Systems, Inc. (ESS), one of the world’s largest suppliers of military, law enforcement and firefighting protective eyewear.
“This acquisition represents another major step for Oakley in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core optics business,” said Scott Olivet, chief executive officer, Oakley, Inc. “ESS’ brand and company reputation, strong goggle business, and breadth of distribution in military, firefighting and law enforcement channels complement our existing military eyewear platform.”
“Oakley is at its best when we work to solve the most difficult problems of the world’s most demanding users; the exact same thing can be said of ESS,” continued Olivet. “By joining forces with ESS, we are combining two individually strong brands with remarkably similar core values, enhancing both of our abilities to provide the best product and highest quality service possible.”
“This represents an exceptional and timely opportunity for both ESS and Oakley,” said John Dondero, founder and president, Eye Safety Systems, Inc. “We believe that Oakley’s optics expertise, financial resources and international infrastructure will allow ESS to significantly expand its presence in the global protective eyewear markets. Our management team is enthusiastic about this transaction and believes this combination is an excellent step forward for our customers, employees, and most importantly the military, law enforcement, and firefighting professionals who rely daily on our eye protection equipment in their challenging work environments.”
“We are extremely proud of our military heritage and excited to combine a shared commitment to product research and development, advanced technology and excellent support for this important channel,” said Erick Poston, military business unit manager, Oakley, Inc. “ESS enables us to create a much broader product and distribution platform capable of enhancing service to our existing customers and creating potential for future growth.”
The acquisition is subject to certain indemnities, post-close adjustments and customary closing conditions. The companies expect the acquisition to be closed during the first half of 2007. ESS will continue to operate in Sun Valley, and Dondero will continue to lead the development and expansion of the business as its president.