Luxottica and Essilor to merge and create $49bn eyewear giant

By Kathryn Higgins

18 January 2017 at 12:45 BST

French lens maker Essilor is merging with Italian Ray Ban and Oakley eyewear maker Luxottica.

Norasit Kaewsai

The union between the two companies will create a new monolith in the fashion eyewear market, with a combined value around $49bn. The company, to be rebranded as EssilorLuxottica, will boast around 140,000 employees worldwide and global sales spanning more than 150 countries. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, Luxottica and Essilor control market shares of 14 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, each individually eclipsing the next biggest competitor Johnson & Johnson, by almost 10 per cent.

Essilor shares

The terms of the merger will see Delfin, a Luxembourg-based holding company owned by the Del Vecchio family, contribute its entire stake in Luxottica to Essilor in exchange for newly-issued Essilor shares. Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio, who controls around 62 per cent of the company’s stock, will be chairman and CEO of the combined business, while Essilor CEO Hubert Sagnieres will assume the roles of executive vice chairman and deputy CEO. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is advising Essilor on the deal, while Delfin is being advised by Italian firm BonelliErede and French firm Bredin Prat.

Sources: Legal Week; Bloomberg; New York Times


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