FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.–Sept. 24, 2001–Oakley Inc. (NYSE:OO) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Iacon Inc., a sunglass retailing chain with headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Founded in 1981, Iacon operates a chain of approximately 40 mall-based sunglass specialty stores, using three separate retail concepts, under the names Sunglass Designs, Sporting Eyes and Occhiali da Sole, located throughout the United States, with a concentration primarily in the sunbelt regions.
“This is another major step towards fulfilling the objectives we outlined in early August in response to changes in our relationship with Sunglass Hut,” commented Chief Executive Officer Jim Jannard. “We consider the sunglass specialty channel to be one of the most important distribution vehicles for our sunglass products.
“Iacon has done an excellent job of educating consumers about the features and benefits of our products for years, and exemplifies the best of the sunglass specialty retailers across the country. We compliment them for their success. Now Iacon provides Oakley with a vehicle to grow its business and take greater control of its own destiny in this important channel,” Jannard concluded.
“Iacon has been a successful independent sunglass retailer for 20 years and gives us excellent exposure and an immediate mall-based retail presence.
“We are also pleased with the additional retail management experience that Iacon’s management team brings to Oakley’s developing retail business, especially in the small kiosk format with which Iacon has proven so successful,” commented Chief Operating Officer Link Newcomb.
As part of the transaction, Iacon’s founder and president, Jeff Obstfeld, will enter into an employment agreement with Oakley and continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of Iacon’s retail operations. In addition, Iacon’s current management team will remain intact.
Obstfeld will also serve as an adviser to Oakley’s existing retail group that is responsible for Oakley’s exclusive “O Store” and “Vault” retail concepts. Iacon will remain with headquarters in Scottsdale.
Obstfeld commented: “Combining our operations with Oakley gives me an opportunity to stay involved with a business that I have loved for 20 years and continue to work with an outstanding team of employees. I can’t think of a better partner to join forces with to expand the Iacon business. We intend to maintain our successful product assortment strategy, including of course, Oakley.”
Iacon generated revenues of approximately $15 million over the past 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2001 of which Oakley accounted for approximately 26 percent.
In addition to its mall-based retail locations, Iacon has entered into a master licensing agreement with HMSHost, the world’s leading concessions operator, with headquarters in Bethesda, Md., under which HMSHost has licensed Iacon’s sunglass retailing branded concepts for airport and toll road locations operated by HMSHost.
It also affords Iacon a licensing partner with many years of experience in this marketplace. To date two such locations have been opened.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of October 2001, subject to customary conditions.
Oakley: An original, unexpected and innovative world brand. Building on its legacy of market-leading sunglasses, the company offers expanding lines of premium performance footwear, apparel, accessories, watches and prescription eyewear to consumers in more than 70 countries.
Trailing-12-month net sales through June 30, 2001 totaled $425.4 million and generated net income of $59.9 million — a 14.1 percent net margin.
Oakley news releases, SEC filings and the company’s Annual Report are available at no charge through the company’s Web site at www.oakley.com.
Safe Harbor Disclaimer
This news release contains certain statements of a foorward-looking nature. Such statements are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The accuracy of such statements may be impacted by a number of business risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or anticipated, including: risks related to the company’s ability to manage rapid growth; the ability to identify qualified manufacturing partners; the ability to coordinate product development and production processes with those partners; the ability of those manufacturing partners to increase production volumes in a timely fashion in response to increasing demand and enable the company to achieve timely delivery of finished goods to its retail customers; the ability to provide adequate fixturing to existing and future retail customers to meet anticipated needs and schedules; the dependence on eyewear sales to Sunglass Hut, which has recently been acquired by a major competitor and, accordingly, has sought to alter its relationship with the company and could further alter or terminate such relationship; the company’s ability to expand distribution channels and its own retail operations in a timely manner; the capacity of distribution channels other than the sunglass specialty channel to recover sales lost by changes in the company’s relationship with Sunglass Hut; unanticipated changes in general market conditions or other factors, which may result in cancellations of advance orders or a reduction in the rate of reorders placed by retailers; continued weakening of economic conditions could reduce demand for products sold by the company and could adversely affect profitability, especially of the company’s retail operations; the ability of the company to integrate acquisitions; the ability to continue to develop and produce innovative new products and introduce them in a timely manner; the acceptance in the marketplace of the company’s new products and changes in consumer preferences; the ability to source raw materials and finished products at favorable prices to the company; the effect of the California power crisis on the company’s operations; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; and other risks outlined in the company’s SEC filings, including but not limited to the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2000 and other filings made periodically by the company. The company undertakes no obligation to update this forward-looking information.