Italian luxury and sports eyewear retailer Luxottica (LUX) said Thursday that it is buying two sunglass retail chains in Mexico, an effort to delve into the sun retail business in the central American region.

Luxottica, which operates brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Arnette, said the 70 Stanza and High Tech stores being acquired will be rebranded overtime under the Sunglass Hut brand, one of the largest sunglass specialty retailers in the world.

Fabio d'Angelantonio, the company’s vice president of sun and luxury retail, said the acquisitions are strategic in that they establish a meaningful position in sun retail in Mexico, which has risen as a dynamic and fast-growing market, while providing it with an opportunity to strengthen the overall position of Luxottica brands.

“Growth in emerging countries and, more generally speaking, in the so-called sun belt, is one of the key pillars for Sunglass Hut's development,” he said.

The transaction, valued at 17 million euros, or $23 million, is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2011’s second-quarter.

Stanza operates roughly 40 sunglass retails locations in select department stores and airports in most key Mexican cities, including Mexico City and Playa del Carmen. 

High Tech operates about 30 locations in department stores in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Merida under the High Tech, Euro Vision and Top Vision brands.

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