ClearlyContacts operator Coastal.com being bought for $445M by France’s Essilor

By on February 27, 2014


VANCOUVEROnline optical company Coastal.com (TSX:COA) is being sold to France-based Essilor International for $445 million.

The Vancouver-based company, operator of such websites as ClearlyContacts.com among others, says Essilor has offered $12.45 per share in cash for all of its shares.

It says the offer represents a premium of 43 per cent over the company’s three-month, volume-weighted average price of $8.73 and 84 per cent over its six-month, volume-weighted average price of $6.78.

The Coastal.com board says it has unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approvals.

If all goes well, the deal is expected to close within 90 days.

Coastal.com founder and CEO Roger Hardy praised Essilor as a company that shares Coastal.com’s “focus on customers, innovation and growth.”

“The combination will enhance Coastal.com’s ability to achieve its goals while realizing a significant all-cash premium for our shareholders,” Hardy said. “I am confident this merger is the right decision for Coastal.com, our employees and our shareholders.”

Essilor chairman and CEO Hubert Sagnieres, in explaining the reasons behind the purchase, said “the Internet has an important role to play in helping us to fulfil our corporate mission of enabling people to enjoy a better life through better sight.”

“With Coastal.com, Essilor is acquiring a recognized online vision care platform.”

Coastal Contacts Inc. is an online direct-to-consumer retailer of contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and vision care accessories serving more than 10 markets around the world, including Canada, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Japan.

Essilor International SA is a France-based ophthalmic optics company whose brands include Varilux, Crizal, Kodak and Foster Grant among others.

It also develops and sells equipment for prescription laboratories as well as instruments and services designed for optical professionals.