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BENSON EYECARE TO ACQUIRE 28.25 PERCENT OF KITTY LITTLE GROUP PLC; OPENS DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL FOR BENSON IN EUROPE

 RYE, N.Y., Nov. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Benson Eyecare (AMEX: EB) announced today it will acquire a 28.25 percent interest in Kitty Little Group PLC, the largest distributor of sunglasses and reading glasses in the United Kingdom. Benson will invest approximately $1.4 million to purchase 3.166 million shares at 30 pence per share; in addition, Benson has agreed to assign the FosterGrant trademark in Europe and the Middle East to Kitty Little Group for approximately $1.1 million in common stock at 30 pence per share, or 2.4 million shares.
 Upon completion of the transaction, Martin E. Franklin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Benson, will also become non-executive chairman of Kitty Little Group.
 "These transactions will establish a significant foothold in Europe for the distribution of Benson's eyecare products," Mr. Franklin said. "As a result of our strategic relationship with Kitty Little, we will double the size of the market Benson can address, without bearing the risk of building an independent marketing and distribution operation. We will have the opportunity to cross sell each other's products in Europe and the United States and to realize significant growth opportunities."
 Kitty Little, which has annualized revenues of approximately $15 million, sells sunglasses under such owned brand names as Samco by Mazzucchelli, FosterGrant and Optico, and under such licensed brand names as Givenchy; and reading glasses under the Magnivision and Ready- Read brands.
 Benson Eyecare Corporation is a leading distributor of ready-to-wear reading glasses and value priced sunglasses to mass merchandisers, drug stores and supermarkets and is the largest operator of ophthalmologist- based dispensaries in the United States.
 -0- 11/23/93
 /CONTACT: Martin E. Franklin of Benson Eyecare Corporation, 914-967-9400, or Fred Spar of Kekst and Company, 212-593-2655/
 (EB)


CO: Benson Eyecare; Kitty Little Group PLC ST: New York IN: HOU SU: TNM

SH -- NY024 -- 7182 11/23/93 10:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1993
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