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Nicola Mira
Jan 25, 2017
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Safilo seals Korea distribution deal with Seeone as share price tumbles

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jan 25, 2017

Safilo has issued a press release stating its has signed a "long-term" agreement for the exclusive distribution of its brands in South Korea. The Italian eyewear manufacturer's local partner is the Seeone group, an eyewear specialist. Safilo, which is controlled by Dutch investment fund Hal, is carrying out a global reshuffle of its international commercial organisation, and now claims "50 exclusive partners worldwide."
 The eyewear manufacturer plans to expand in South Korea - Safilo

According to the press release, Seeone will take charge of the distribution of all of Safilo's brands from 1st February, while duty free distribution in South Korea will instead still be managed by Safilo's own travel retail team, via a local representative.

"South Korea is strategically very important for Safilo on a global scale, for the size of its domestic market, for its role as design trend-setter in Asia and worldwide, and also as a major tourist destination in Asia," stated CEO Luisa Delgado in the press release.

The announcement came in the wake of a troubled 10 days for the Safilo share price on the Milan Stock Exchange. The price fell by 15% on Thursday 19th January, when news that LVMH was about to acquire a stake of nearly 10% in Safilo's competitor Marcolin reached the market.

Safilo's licence portfolio features in fact several LVMH brands, including Dior, whose licence agreement was renewed until 2020, as well as Fendi, Givenchy and Céline, whose contracts will instead terminate on 31st December 2017.

In recent years, the Italian eyewear group has lost a sizeable share of its licence revenue, notably for the brands belonging to the Kering group. Among them the profitable Gucci licence, after the Italian luxury label decided to manage its eyewear business internally.

The market has been wondering since then whether the LVMH group is contemplating a similar approach, while another major eyewear player, Luxottica, recently announced its merger with Essilor.


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