News

  • January 17, 2017 10:49 AM | Admin (Administrator)

    Eyewear Industry Giants Essilor and Luxottica Announce Merger; Historic Deal Will Reshape the Optical Industry

     

    By Vision Monday
    Monday, January 16, 2017 12:15 AM

    PARIS and MILAN—Plans for a mega merger of Essilor [Euronext Paris: EI] and Luxottica [MTA: LUX; NYSE: LUX], two global giants of the eyewear industry, were announced today by Essilor and Delfin Sarl, the Luxembourg based holding company of the Del Vecchio family, the majority owners of Luxottica. The history making deal would reshape the international optical industry and create “an integrated player dedicated to visual health and superior consumer experience through a combination of Essilor and Luxottica Group,” according to a joint statement issued by the companies.

    The new company would be involved in virtually every sector of the optical industry, from retail and wholesale to frames, spectacle lenses and managed vision care. It would have combined revenue in excess of €15 billion, more than 140,000 employees and sales in over 150 countries, according to Essilor and Delfin. Based on the companies’ 2015 results, the new company would have posted combined net EBITDA of approximately €3.5 billion. Based on a preliminary analysis, the combined group is expected to progressively generate revenue and cost synergies ranging from €400 million to €600 million in the medium term and accelerating over the long term, Essilor and Delfin said.

    The combination of “two major and complementary global players in the eyewear industry to answer the growing needs in visual health and the appetite for premium branded products,” the companies said. The new group would be in an “outstanding position to propose a comprehensive offering combining a strong brand portfolio, global distribution capabilities and complementary expertise in ophthalmic lenses, prescription frames and sunglasses,” the companies said.

    Early reports of the deal began circulating last night, as reported by VMail

    “Our project has one simple motivation: to better respond to the needs of an immense global population in vision correction and vision protection by bringing together two great companies, one dedicated to lenses and the other to frames,” commented Hubert Sagnieres, chairman and CEO of Essilor. “With extraordinary success, Luxottica has built prestigious brands, backed by an industry state-of-the-art supply chain and distribution network. Essilor brings 168 years of innovation and industrial excellence in the design, manufacturing and distribution of ophthalmic and sun lenses. By joining forces today, these two international players can now accelerate their global expansion to the benefit of customers, employees and shareholders as well as the industry as a whole.”

    Leonardo Del Vecchio, chairman of Delfin and executive chairman of Luxottica Group added, “With this agreement my dream to create a major global player in the eyewear industry, fully integrated and excellent in all its parts, comes finally true. It was some time now that we knew that this was the right solution but only today are there the right conditions to make it possible. The marriage between two key companies in their sectors will bring great benefits to the market, for employees and mainly for all our consumers. Finally, after 50 years, two products which are naturally complementary, namely frames and lenses, will be designed, manufactured and distributed under the same roof.”

    The transaction would involve a strategic combination of Essilor’s and Luxottica’s businesses consisting of Delfin contributing its entire stake in Luxottica, approximately 62 percent, to Essilor in return for newly-issued Essilor shares to be approved by the Essilor shareholders meeting, on the basis of the Exchange Ratio of 0.461 Essilor shares for 1 Luxottica share. Essilor would subsequently make a mandatory public exchange offer, in accordance with the provisions of Italian law, to acquire all of the remaining issued and outstanding shares of Luxottica pursuant to the same Exchange Ratio and with a view to delist Luxottica’s shares, the companies said in the statement.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Essilor would become a holding company with the new name EssilorLuxottica through a “hive-down” of all of its operating activities into a wholly-owned company, to be called Essilor International, and the contribution by Delfin of its Luxottica shares, the companies said. Following the transaction, Delfin would own between 31 percent and 38 percent of the shares of EssilorLuxottica and would be its largest shareholder. The voting rights of any shareholder of EssilorLuxottica would be capped at 31 percent and there would no longer be double voting rights for the shares.

    The board of directors of Essilor unanimously approved the agreement with Delfin on Jan. 15, 2017. The Luxottica board of directors, on the same date, unanimously acknowledged the transaction was in the best interest of Luxottica and shared the strategic rationale of the business combination.

    Executive chairman, Leonardo Del Vecchio, would serve as executive chairman and CEO of EssilorLuxottica while Essilor chairman and CEO, Hubert Sagnieres, would serve as executive vice chairman and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica with equal powers as the chairman and CEO. 

    Leonardo Del Vecchio and Hubert Sagnieres would also keep their positions of executive chairman of Luxottica and chairman and CEO of Essilor International, respectively. 

    The EssilorLuxottica Board of Directors would consist of 16 members: eight members nominated by Essilor, comprising Sagnieres, two employee representatives, one Valoptec representative and four independent members. Eight members nominated by Delfin, comprising Del Vecchio, three Delfin representatives and four independent members. 

    Each company will remain separate entities under the holding company, an Essilor of America spokesperson told VMail. “Any integration will take place after the closing of the deal and will take place over the following three years. There will be no changes in the day to day operations of either company within the coming year.

    “This combination gives the companies opportunities across all segments of the eyewear industry by combining our expertise in lenses and frames,” the Essilor spokesperson continued. “This would include supply chain management, frame, lens and wearable innovation, investing in the consumer’s understanding of the value of good vision and the importance of an annual eye exam.”

    Essilor will be establishing an advisory committee of key customers, the Essilor spokesperson told VMail. “There is not an exact timetable set for this but it will be one of the first things we do. We also will be at all major industry meetings to set up discussion forums to answer any questions and gather additional input. We are answering questions about this merger through a special email, AskEssilor@essilorusa.com,” the spokesperson said.

    The transaction is subject to Essilor’s Works Councils’ information and consultation procedure according to French law.


  • November 30, 2016 10:46 AM | Mark Miller (Administrator)

    The Florida Department of Health has a new Online Portal Service for MQA

    When you use the MQA Online Services Portal for the first time, you will be required to register for a new user account using a valid, active email address, and add your license to your account.  On this page we  walk you through the Steps needed to setup an account  and renew your license.


    Step 1 >> Register for a New User Account

    Go to www.FLHealthSource.gov/, select No and click Register to begin the registration process.


    Step 2 >> Log into your New Account

    Check your email INBOX, JUNK, SPAM, CLUTTER and TRASH folders to locate your new account user ID and temporary password. Using your temporary password and user ID provided via email, log into your account. You will be prompted to create a new password for your account.


    Step 3 >> Add your License/Application or Apply for a License

    After you Sign In with your new user ID and password, you will then be prompted to add your license to your account before you can renew. If you are a new applicant, follow the instructions to apply for a license. If you have a current license or pending application, you will need three (3) items:

    1.  Your social security number

    2.  Your date of birth

    3.  Your mailing address zip code on file with the Department of Health (Please note that your mailing address zip code can be found on your renewal postcard or your physical license)

    Once you have successfully added your license to your account, you will see the Manage My License section on your dashboard. From your dashboard, you can;

      • renew your license
      • add additional licenses or applications
      • request a name or status change
      • update your address and add a secondary practice location
      • upload your documents
      • start a new application
      • complete an application you have already started
    • The deadline for this renewal period is midnight on  December 31, 2016 renewing to after that time may cost you additional $150  
  • November 23, 2016 11:40 AM | Mark Miller (Administrator)

    While transitioning to our new website software, POF temporarily made its online CE courses available by phone or email request. Many opticians took advantage of the course offerings during that brief time period, and we thank you all for your patience while we upgraded our system.

    POF's continuing education courses are now available online at www.pofCE.org

    To order courses, you will need to create a new login to register and pay. Your old password will not work. Your email address is your user name and we created a temporary password for all licensed opticians and apprentices that we have in our system.

    To access online CE, your new temporary password uses your Florida license number.

    Opticians, your temporary password is formatted like this: DO####AA (replace the #### with your 3 or 4 digit license number) Apprentices, use DA####AA instead.

    You are welcome to login from the MEMBER PROFILE LOGIN PAGE and reset your password now, and to review or update your profile that is on file with POF

    Learn more about POF Online Home Study CEs

  • March 11, 2016 8:46 AM | Mark Miller (Administrator)

    Phones, televisions and even the written eyeglass Rx look different than they did just 5 years ago. While POF is not able to provide technical support for your smart phone or Wi-Fi connected flat screen, we can provide technical guidance on some of the questions you may have about the recent changes and developments that have affected written eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions.

    Here are some frequently asked questions about the changing look of the Rx;

    • Is it illegal to maintain in our files an eyeglass or contact lens Rx written on counterfeit proof pad that has the word VOID or ILLEGAL printed on it?
    • Can opticians maintain copies of filled eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions electronically in their office instead of the paper version?
    • Is a prescription that has been digitally signed by the prescriber when no written signature appears is that legally acceptable?

    POF provides responses to your questions

    Can a VOIDED Rx Still be Filled & Filed?

    In an effort to curtail the use of counterfeit prescriptions to illegally obtain controlled medications, Florida enacted a law that requires all "prescribing practitioners" to use counterfeit proof prescription pads. The law was passed in 2011 and implemented late in 2012 requiring that all written prescriptions for controlled substances incorporate a number of security features that make them extremely difficult to duplicate.

    One of the key security features that is required on the new prescription pads is the word "void" or "illegal" must appear on any photo copy or reproduction of the Rx. While this security feature works well for controlled substances, it has proved problematic for some opticians that have received prescriptions from a doctor's office that prints out medication and eyeglass prescriptions on the same pad. When the optician makes a photo copy of the Rx for their file or to return a copy to the patient, one of them will have the word "VOID" appearing on it.

    A number of concerned opticians have contacted the POF office asking if it would it be legal and acceptable for the optician to maintain the copy that has the word void written on it? We all know there is a small chance that the patient is going to happily accept the voided one back as their copy.

    When this issue was bought to the attention of POF's executive director Mark Miller he researched the original intent of the legislation and the exact wording of the administrative codes (rules) to see if and how the new requirement would affect other prescriptions. The wording was very clear that the new prescription pad requirement was intended only for controlled substances.

    Even with this clear wording, Mr. Miller felt it was important to take this question and the findings to the Board of Opticianry to ensure that they were interpreting the information the same way.

    During their November meeting the attorney for Board of Opticianry Douglas Dolan, stated " this law relates to controlled substances. It is not illegal to maintain records /prescriptions with VOID on them since practitioners are now using the tamperproof scripts."

    So the good news is that you are welcome to accept, fill and copy eyewear and contact lens prescriptions that are printed on the new counterfeit proof pads regardless of whether they have VOID printed on them.

    A Digital Duplicate of Prescriptions

    Another question concerning prescriptions many opticians have is the 2 year requirement for opticians to maintain a copy of the patient's prescriptions that they fill in the optical and whether they are required to maintain the Rx in its original paper form or can they store them electronically. Since this was not specifically addressed in our statutes, POF also sought the Board of Opticianry's guidance on the legality of the digital copy during the November meeting.

    Again, according to Board's Counsel, Douglas Dolan, "there is no prohibition in the law, therefore, prescriptions can be maintained electronically"

    The bottom line is yes you can maintain digital/electronically copy of your patient's eyewear Rx – and you are welcome to do away with those large filing cabinets and maintain those records on a laptop. However a secure off-site backup system of those required records is strongly advised.

    Digitally Signed Prescription

    Another digital age question that we are asked about regularly is if an optician can fill an eyeglass or contact lens prescription that is digitally signed by the doctor without a hand written or "live" signature on the pad.

    The short answer is yes, there are both state and federal regulations that allow doctors to write prescriptions with digital signatures - which automatically allows you to fill the prescription with a digital signature. And you are likely to see most prescriptions go digital along with the electronic signature in the near future if you have not seen it already in your area.

    The federal government has been encouraging doctors to move in the direction of electronic prescribing with the creation of section 132 of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA). The act is still voluntary however it authorized separate incentive programs for electronic prescribing.

    While the act was not specifically designed to include eyeglass prescriptions, the fact that doctors' offices are setting up their practice with electronic prescribing for pharmaceuticals it would only make sense that prescriptions for medical devices would be generated out of the same system which would include a digital signature.

    This and other articles on this website should not be considered legal advice, only our opinion of how regulations are affecting current issues within the profession. Please check with your own legal representative or with the board of opticianry concerning your specific situation.

    Please continue to send POF your questions so we can continue to assist the profession in dealing with current issues.


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