Italy's Luxottica takes over Sunglass Hut

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In its latest step in a U.S.-based growth strategy, luxury Italian eyewear maker Luxottica will acquire retailer Sunglass Hut International in a deal said to be worth around $650 million.

Luxottica's U.S. strategy started with the 1995 acquisition of LensCrafters, an optical retail chain. Two years ago, Luxottica acquired Bausch & Lomb's sunglass business, which includes the famous Ray-Ban brand.

Sunglass Hut operates more than 1,400 retail locations in North America. Most Sunglass Hut locations are free-standing kiosks in U.S. shopping malls, adding up to about a third of the lucrative U.S. premium sunglass market.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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