Visottica announces that it has acquired complete ownership of Comotec, by buying out Mazzucchelli Group equity, thus consolidating its global leadership in metal components and tailored solutions for the optical sector.
Visottica:Italian roots, multinational vision
Visottica is a second-generation family-run company based in a small town not far from Venice, in north-east Italy. Born in 1947, thanks to the vision of its founder, Osalco Montalban, it has grown to be one of the major suppliers of components to the Italian eyewear industry. In 1968, production expanded to its current location, whereas twenty years later it widened to include a different range of products and technologies through the acquisition of Friulottica. By that time, the baton had passed to the capable hands of Rinaldo Montalban, Osalco’s son. New patents and technical solutions were developed and Visottica consolidated its leadership among frame producers across Europe.
With the increasing importance of manufacturers in Asia, the Company began supplying players and supporting them through a new production unit in the Guangdong region in 2003. To reinforce its market penetration in the Far East, in 2010 Visottica set up a strategic partnership with the Mazzucchelli Group, obtaining 50% control and full governance of Comotec and its Chinese production facilities.
Comotec: international organization for foreign markets
Immediately after the Second World War, Pierre Chevassus, Michel Bussed and Chrestin Billet started different companies in France to produce hinges and nose pads, specializing in eyewear components for the European and the American markets.
In the mid-seventies, to respond to the need of developing a more effective approach to international markets, the three entities merged with the help of Christian Receveur and, in 1985, Comotec SA was born as a worldwide distribution company.
Three years later Comotec began production in the Far East, opening a hinge factory in the Hong Kong New Territories and, in 1989, acquired its first production plant in China. The year 1994 marked the transition from a confederation of firms to the Comotec Group. In 2003 Comotec was acquired by the Italian Mazzucchelli 1849, a world leader in the production of cellulose acetate for the spectacle industry. In 2008 all operations were moved to China and the premises in France were closed.
2010, Visottica Comotec became one for global leadership
Born and raised with two very different DNAs, today the Visottica Comotec group is a worldwide leader in metal components for the optical sector, embracing the two philosophies of the founding companies: a strong Italian legacy and a multicultural approach. Every year, the two production plants in Italy and in China make more than a billion components in a wide range of products for different kind of frames – injection and metal, acetate, wood and other materials.
Alongside the eyewear industry, which remains its core business, the group is achieving significant growth in other fields such as the automotive, medical, watchmaking and electronics sectors. Visottica Comotec supplies standard products and develops tailored solutions by working side by side with its customers.
The partnership with Comotec dates back to 2010, when Visottica signed a joint venture agreement with the Mazzucchelli Group, leading to full control of Comotec and of its Chinese production sites. This acquisition further consolidated Visottica’s leadership in the Far East, where the company has been able to penetrate the market thanks to its sound corporate structure and new production processes.
Whilst continuing to invest heavily in its sales network, today Visottica consolidates its position as a major player at the top of the eyewear sector by combining two work cultures: that of the parent company in Susegana, in north-east Italy, and that of the DongGuan plant, in South China, merged five years ago into a single organization to meet customer requirements with increasing efficiency. This continuous exchange of competence and know-how between the Italian and Chinese locations makes the Visottica Comotec manufacturing culture hard to replicate.
By combining the capacity of large-scale production with the flexibility of production facilities in Italy and the Far East, Visottica Comotec is able to deliver custom-made products, with the direct collaboration of buyers and designers and through state-of-the-art technologies. “Made in Italy” expertise is integrated with an effective and timely service worldwide.
2016, Visottica buys out Comotec and takes over 100% of equity
Rinaldo Montalban, President of the new Visottica Comotec Group, is confident that the new corporate structure will consolidate the Company’s competitive advantages: “We are strongly committed to respond to every need – from tailored projects and small-scale series, to mass production – in near and distant markets. Our overall production covers 15,000 product categories in different metals and alloys, protected by more than 40 patents. Around 30% of our yearly turnover, which will reach €55 million in 2016, comes from customized products, specially developed by the research team at our Italian headquarters.”
“We serve major brands in the fashion sector and in some of the world’s leading automotive, medical and technical equipment industries: engineering creativity at any scale is our core business,” adds Rinaldo Montalban.
“Very few companies can deliver such a wide range of products and services. On top of this, we can offer a reliable organization that is able to compete worldwide, owing to the exclusive know-how we have inherited from the two original companies and that makes us unique. Experience, innovation and a strong international drive are the foundations on which we have built our present and we will base our future success.”