Speculation Mounts Over Potential Sale of Marcolin Eyewear

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Speculation Mounts: The well-known Italian eyeglasses company Marcolin has gained prominence in the industry and attracted interest from a wide range of prospective customers. Numerous possible buyers are reportedly interested in the company, and Pai Partners, the French investment vehicle that now owns the majority stake, is reportedly considering leaving. Interestingly, it is also said that Marcolin’s rivals are in the running.

Pai Partners delegated to Goldman Sachs the duty of determining interest in purchasing Marcolin, a prospective €1.35 billion deal, in a move that suggested strategic consideration. The investment fund has been associated with Marcolin for more than ten years; by December 2019, its share has grown from 78% to 83%.

Marcolin is gaining more traction than just conjecture, as the business has recently accomplished great things. A similar debut in Paris in November was followed by the announcement on March 18 of the opening of a prestigious showroom in New York via a press release. In addition, Marcolin has extended a number of licensing contracts with well-known companies, including Pucci, Zegna, GCDS, Max&Co, and Skechers. The introduction of Louboutin’s eyewear line in February and the acquisition of Ic! Berlin at the end of 2023 are noteworthy deals.

With its headquarters located in the center of Italy’s eyeglasses area, Longarone, Marcolin employs close to a thousand people. With a total operating profit of €52.1 million, its anticipated sales for 2022 are €547.4 million, a 20% increase over 2021.

Speculation Mounts


Marcolin is a global company that operates in 125 countries. It holds licenses for high-end brands like Guess, Adidas Originals, Bally, and Tom Ford, which it has been managing since 2005. Prospective purchasers find Tom Ford more appealing after the company recently signed a permanent license agreement with Estée Lauder, its new owner.

Luxury giant Kering stands out among the interested parties, especially with regard to its subsidiary Kering Eyewear, which has expressed a strong desire to license Tom Ford. Major eyeglasses companies like the US-based Marchon, the Franco-Italian EssilorLuxottica, and Italy’s Safilo are also apparently in the running. Though there is much conjecture, it seems that Marcolin’s magnitude and worth would make it unaffordable for certain individuals, such the Italian eyeglasses brand De Rigo and the Hong Kong-based fund Fountain Vest.

It’s interesting to note that Thelios doesn’t seem to be interested in Marcolin, given that the two parties’ last joint venture with LVMH ended in December 2021 when Marcolin sold LVMH its share of Thélios.

In conclusion, Marcolin’s current predicament is indicative of the dynamic environment in which many companies are fighting for a piece of the eyewear market’s future.

Ethan Sullivan

Ethan's penchant for the pulse of the fashion world extends to covering lifestyle topics, offering readers a seamless blend of the latest style updates and lifestyle trends.

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