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Essilor of America Acquires Duffens Optical.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 19, 1996--Essilor of America Inc. (EOA EOA Equal Opportunity Advisor
EOA Ethics Officer Association
EOA End Of Address
EOA Effective Orifice Area (cardiology)
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), a leading U.S. manufacturer of ophthalmic ophthalmic /oph·thal·mic/ (of-thal´mik) ocular (1).

Of or relating to the eye; ocular.

Pertaining to the eye.
 optical products, today announced its purchase of Duffens Optical, a Topeka, Kansas-based optical company with twelve laboratories in the Midwest and South Central United States The South Central United States, South Central states, or Midsouth is a region of the United States located in the south central part of the country. It evolved out of the archaic southwest, which originally was literally the western U.S. South. .

Duffens Optical becomes the third organization to join Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA ELOA Educational Leave of Absence
ELOA Epidural Lysis of Adhesions
), EOA's recently-formed network of optical laboratories. Earlier this year, EOA purchased Southern Optical Company of Greensboro, North Carolina “Greensboro” redirects here. For other uses, see Greensboro (disambiguation).
Greensboro, North Carolina (IPA: [ɡɹiːnsbʌɹəʊ]) is a city in the U.S. state of North Carolina.
 and WOS Inc., of Green Bay, Wisconsin Green Bay is the county seat of Brown County in the U.S. state of Wisconsin.

The city is located at the head of its namesake Green Bay, a sub-basin of Lake Michigan, at the mouth of the Fox River.
 These acquisitions are the foundation of EOA's strategy to create the leading network of optical laboratories in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . They follow EOA's acquisition of Dallas-based Omega Group, announced in February, 1996.

"The addition of Duffens to EOA is a strategic move that establishes our presence in the central region of the U.S.," explained Thomas R. Sloan, president of ELOA. "In addition, Duffens Optical has a long tradition of excellent service to the professional marketplace and is a strong proponent of high-value products, such as Varilux progressive lenses Progressive lenses, also called progressive addition lenses (PAL), progressive power lenses, graduated lenses and varifocal lenses, are corrective lenses used in eyeglasses to correct presbyopia and other disorders of accommodation. . Their expertise will undoubtedly be an asset to our organization."

"The Duffens acquisition further extends EOA's commitment to responding to the needs of the optical industry, including accelerated product development and a stronger service base for eye care professionals across the U.S.," added Jacques Stoerr, president of EOA.

Duffens, which employs about 550 people, will retain its identity and continue to operate from each of its current locations.

Simultaneous with the acquisition, will be several key changes in the executive level management at Duffens. The current president, Robert Duffens, will retire and his son, Gary E. Duffens, will be named as his successor. In addition, Scott P. Duffens will fill the position of executive vice president and Greg R. Duffens will fill the position of secretary/treasurer.

Greg Duffens also will assume a principal role at ELOA as vice president of marketing.

Duffens Optical has been a distributor of Essilor's Varilux lens since 1979. The acquisition will not change its current Varilux distribution strategy. Likewise, Duffens will continue to market its current line of optical lens products, including both Essilor and non-Essilor products.

"We will continue our tradition of supplying the products, services, and people to help our customers achieve their goals in serving and satisfying their patients," said Gary Duffens.

Essilor of America is the U.S. subsidiary of Essilor International, headquartered in Paris and traded on the Paris Stock Exchange. In addition to Varilux lenses, EOA manufactures and markets optical lenses under the Silor and Essilor brand names. The company is an acknowledged pioneer in the development and production of plastic lenses and is the U.S. leader in anti-reflective coatings Anti-reflective or antireflection (AR) coatings are a type of optical coating applied to the surface of lenses and other optical devices to reduce reflection. This improves the efficiency of the system since less light is lost. . With the acquisition of Duffens Optical, EOA employs nearly 6,000 of Essilor International's 15,000 employees worldwide.

CONTACT: Tom Sloan, 910/272-8146 ext. 210


Gary Duffens, 303/623-5301


John Bentz, 212/887-8045
COPYRIGHT 1996 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 19, 1996
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