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KBco And Specialty Lens Corp Merge To Streamline Polarized Lens Distribution Network

By Essilor News

01/18/2011

DALLAS – (Jan. 18, 2011) – Essilor of America, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of optical lenses, announces the merger of KBco, based in Centennial, Colo. and Specialty Lens Corporation (SLC) based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The merger will be complete by the second quarter of 2011. Under the new structure, the sales, marketing and distribution functions for both product lines will operate under KBco, and the SLC manufacturing capability will remain in Salt Lake City.

KBco will notify SLC customers to inform them when and how to convert their SLC product orders from SLC to KBco. Sales, marketing and distribution of Varilux and all Essilor branded progressive addition lenses (PALS) will continue as is.

As one of the largest polarized lens distributors in the United States, KBco supplies retail chains and eyecare professionals (ECPs) through an extensive distribution network of wholesale laboratories. The innovative KBco and SLC product lines provide ECPs with the most extensive polarized high-quality offering available in the industry.  KBco will expand its product offering throughout 2011, including a range of 1.67 segmented products.

“This merger will leverage the distribution and manufacturing strengths of each company,” said John Carrier, president, Essilor of America. “As the demand for polarized lenses continues to grow, KBco will position us to best serve our customers.”

KBco’s management team will remain in place with Kurt Hollinger as president and John Olsen as chief operating officer. Rick Piper has been appointed senior vice president, KBco, while maintaining responsibilities for SLC manufacturing and will report jointly to Kurt Hollinger and John Olsen. Customers and partners should continue to communicate and place orders as usual with KBco and SLC until further notice. Orders for Xperio lenses in Varilux or Essilor PALs should continue to be placed through Essilor’s Independent Distribution Division.

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About Essilor
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses,
Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the Varilux®, Crizal®, Thin&Lite®, Xperio® and DEFINITY® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, S.A., a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).

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Essilor, Varilux, Crizal, Xperio and DEFINITY are registered trademarks of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of
Essilor of America, Inc.

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