Eye Safety Systems, Inc. To Be Acquired by Oakley, Inc.

November 22, 2006  |  ESS UPDATES
Eye Safety Systems, Inc. To Be Acquired by Oakley, Inc.

Sun Valley, Idaho, USA

Eye Safety Systems, Inc. (ESS) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Oakley, Inc. (NYSE:OO).  ESS is one of the world's largest suppliers of military, law enforcement and firefighting protective eyewear.

"This represents an exceptional and timely opportunity for both ESS and Oakley," said John Dondero, founder and president, Eye Safety Systems, Inc.  "We believe that Oakley's design excellence, financial resources and international infrastructure will allow ESS to significantly expand its presence in the global protective eyewear markets.  Our management team is enthusiastic about this transaction and believes this combination is an excellent step forward for our customers, employees, and most importantly the military, firefighting and law enforcement professionals who rely daily on our eye protection equipment in their challenging work environments."

"This acquisition represents another major step for Oakley in our strategy to accelerate growth in our core optics business," said Scott Olivet, chief executive officer, Oakley, Inc.  "ESS' brand and company reputation, strong goggle business, and breadth of distribution in military, firefighting and law enforcement channels complement our existing military eyewear platform."

"Oakley is at its best when we work to solve the most difficult problems of the world's most demanding users; the exact same thing can be said of ESS," continued Olivet.  "By joining forces with ESS, we are combining two individually strong brands with remarkably similar core values, enhancing both of our abilities to provide the best product and highest quality service possible." 

The acquisition is subject to certain indemnities, post-close adjustments and customary closing conditions.  The companies expect the acquisition to be closed during the first half of 2007.  Under this agreement, ESS will continue to maintain its own operations in Sun Valley and operate with a significant amount of autonomy. Dondero will continue to lead the development and expansion of the business as its president.

 

 

About Oakley, Inc.
Oakley is a worldwide leader in performance optics including premium sunglasses, goggles, and prescription eyewear.  Headquartered in Southern California, the company's optics brand portfolio includes Dragon, Fox Racing, Mosley Tribes, Oliver Peoples, and Paul Smith Spectacles.  In addition to its worldwide wholesale business, the company operates retail locations including Oakley Stores, The Optical Shop of Aspen, and Sunglass Icon, the second largest sunglass specialty chain in the United States.  The company also offers a wide selection of Oakley-branded apparel, footwear, watches and accessories.  Additional information is available at www.oakley.com.

 

 

Safe Harbor Disclaimer
This press release contains certain statements of a forward-looking nature. Such statements are made pursuant to the "forward-looking statements" and "safe harbor" provisions within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to growth and strategies, future operating and financial results, financial expectations and current business indicators and are typically identified by the use of terms such as "look," "may," "should," "might," "believe," "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate" and similar words, although some forward-looking statements may be expressed differently. 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 but not limited to: risks related to the sale of new sunglass and electronics product introductions; execution of anticipated restructuring and realignment of product categories; the company's ability to integrate and operate acquisitions; the company's ability to manage rapid growth; new and existing channel inventory management risks related to the limited visibility of future sunglass orders associated with the company's "at once" production and fulfillment business model; 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 and the company's internal production operations to increase production volumes on raw materials and finished goods in a timely fashion in response to increasing demand and enable the company to achieve timely delivery of finished goods to its customers; the ability to provide adequate fixturing to existing and future retail customers to meet anticipated needs and schedules; the dependence on optics sales to Luxottica Group S.p.A, which, as a major competitor, could materially alter or terminate its relationship with the company; the company's ability to expand and grow its distribution channels and its own retail operations; the ability of the company to integrate licensing arrangements without adversely affecting operations and the success of such initiatives. Additional factors are detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Risk Factors contained in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 and as updated in the company's quarterly filings on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. The company is under no obligation, and expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter this forward-looking information.

 

 

 

 

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WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

"Dear ESS, On deployment in 2012, my vehicle was struck with an IED while performing route clearance in Afghanistan. The IED flipped my vehicle, knocking me unconscious and launching my rifle into my face. My cheek, nose, and eye socket were shattered from the impact, but my eye was saved from the ESS Crossbow I was wearing. When I put a pair of Crossbows back on, you can clearly see where I would have lost my eye if I wasn't wearing them." SSG Pronzati