Acquisition of US Corning " SunSensors® " Photochromic Lens Material -Expansion of Vision Care Business-

May 20, 2014
Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.

TOKYO---Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (TOKYO:4183 ; President & CEO: Tsutomu Tannowa) announced the acquisition of Corning Incorporated’s (NYSE:GLW) SunSensors® operations on May 15, 2014. Through the acquisition, Mitsui Chemicals moves to bolster its world-class ophthalmic lens material business while breaking into the rapidly growing global photochromic lens market. The company will aggressively develop and sell competitive new photochromic lens materials.

Photochromic lenses are transparent lenses which darken when exposed to ultraviolet light. This reversible chemical reaction makes the lenses ideal for use as clear lenses indoors and sunglass lenses outdoors.

Mitsui Chemicals offers high to low refractive index ophthalmic lens material and coatings to meet the diverse needs of people around the world. The company is known as a premier provider of ophthalmic lens materials with its thin and light “MR™ Series” super durable and clear high refractive index lens material, which allows progressive design. The world-leading “MR™ Series” revolutionized ophthalmic lens material standards and is now regarded as the global standard for lens quality around the world.

Similarly, Corning has been a driving force behind the photochromic lens market since the 1960s, when it first launched its photochromic eyeglass lens materials. The company has continued to lead the market with innovations, including its SunSensors® brand of photochromic organic lens materials.

Mitsui Chemicals’ acquisition of Corning’s photochromic lens material business, which is showing staggering growth in not only developed markets but also in developing markets such as India and Brazil, will contribute to the growth of the company’s vision care materials business while expanding the product lineup to improve its ophthalmic lens material solutions and contribute to optimized customer service.

Mitsui Chemicals will use its efficient global customer and sales network to bolster sales growth of SunSensors® products while intensifying development of new competitive vision care materials including next-generation photochromic lens material to strengthen the company’s position as a provider of new value for its customers.


1. Subject of acquisition

Business rights of photochromic lens material, patents for photochromic monomer, and trademark rights of SunSensors® and SunSensors®+

2. Effect of acquisition

New business: Entry into significantly growing photochromic lens materials market and strengthening of ophthalmic lens material business (current estimated world photochromic lens market 150 billion yen)
New product development: Synergy of Mitsui Chemicals’ superior ophthalmic lens material technology with Corning’s superior photochromic technology to bolster development of next-generation photochromic lens material
Product portfolio to meet diverse market needs: Optimal customer service through addition of photochromic lens material to lineup which includes high to low refractive index ophthalmic lens material to meet diverse global market needs
Use of sales network: Expansion of SunSensors® market through use of Mitsui Chemicals’ global customer and sales network
Use of manufacturing technology: Use of Group’s superior lens material synthesis and manufacturing technology to establish a more efficient production system for photochromic lens material


Acquisition of US Corning " SunSensors® " Photochromic Lens Material -Expansion of Vision Care Business- (PDF:369KB)PDF