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A.T. Cross buys goggles maker Native brand

25
Mar '08
A.T. Cross Company announced that it has closed an all cash transaction to purchase Native Eyewear, Inc., a leading supplier of high-quality, branded, sport performance sunglasses and goggles.

Native Eyewear, headquartered in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, is a designer and marketer of a branded line of All Sports All Polarized sport performance sunglasses and goggles called “Native,” which are distributed throughout the United States under the Native Eyewear brand.

Native's products are distributed through a wide range of specialty accounts, including highly respected outdoor retailers such as REI and Eastern Mountain Sports, as well as through L.L. Bean, Paragon Sports and Sports Chalet, to name a few. Native's eyewear products range in retail price points from $100 to $150.

Native will be operated as part of A.T. Cross' Optical Group Segment, which is currently comprised of the highly successful premium priced polarized Costa Del Mar brand, which Cross acquired in 2003. At that time, Costa had revenues of $11 million; in 2007, Costa's revenues had grown to $37 million.

The acquisition of Native demonstrates the continued execution by A.T Cross of its stated strategies, one of which is to acquire and operate multiple authentic sport performance sunglass brands and to manage each brand within the sports category where the brand has roots.

Costa Del Mar's roots and authenticity are in the marine sports category; particularlysalt and fresh water fishing, and it is now one of the most successful performance sunglass brands in this category. Native's roots are in the outdoor and mountain sports categories where it has been very successful in establishing an important niche.

Native was founded by Mr. Jason Wildman in 1998. Mr. Wildman developed the Native brand and its performance designed polarized sunglasses. The Native brand has developed a tremendously loyal customer base in its ten year history.

Native's technologies, integrated into its frames and lenses, have been firsts in industry developments. Recently, Native introduced its first line of Interchangeable Polarized Snow Goggles, which are set to hit the retail stores in September of this year.


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