BY Richard Summerfield
Franco-Italian eyewear manufacturer and retailer EssilorLuxottica is to acquire Dutch rival GrandVision in a deal worth $8bn.
EssilorLuxottica will pay at least €28 a share for investment firm HAL Optical Investments’ roughly 77 percent stake in Grandvision. Following completion of the deal, EssilorLuxottica will be obliged to make an offer for the rest of GrandVision’s shares.
However, the transaction is expected to attract considerable regulatory scrutiny, particularly in light of the lengthy review that European antitrust authorities undertook when approving the $53bn merger between Essilor and Luxottica in 2017. Furthermore, EssilorLuxottica has already been criticised for its alleged prohibitive prices and bullying tactics. The addition of GrandVision to the company’s portfolio of brands may be unacceptable to regulators.
If approved, the deal will see EssilorLuxottica acquire 7200 new stores globally, over 37,000 employees and €3.7bn in annual revenue.
“This acquisition is another step towards our ambition to eradicate poor vision in the world before 2050,” said Hubert Sagnières, executive vice chairman of EssilorLuxottica. “Following the combination with Luxottica, it‘s a milestone in our vision of reshaping the optical industry with the aim to provide all consumers of the world a better optical experience with higher quality eyewear. We look forward to welcoming the 37,000 employees of GrandVision to the growing EssilorLuxottica family. Together, we will have an even stronger voice to champion better vision everywhere in the world.”
“The future integration of GrandVision with EssilorLuxottica brings new opportunities to GrandVision’s business, its well-established retail banners, stores, employees and all our stakeholders,” said Stephan Borchert, chief executive of GrandVision. “Furthermore, it will create a truly global eyecare and eyewear company that is ideally positioned to capture changing consumer needs and behaviors, and provide its customers with a high quality optical omni-channel customer experience. This transaction is expected to provide value to GrandVision’s shareholders, while allowing for the acceleration of GrandVision’s growth strategy through the expansion of our store network and online platforms. EssilorLuxottica’s interest in joining forces with GrandVision is a clear recognition of GrandVision’s successful strategy, our state-of-the-art retail platform and our people. We look forward to joining forces with EssilorLuxottica in what will be an exciting new chapter ahead.”
At the time of announcing the deal for GrandVisison, EssilorLuxottica also reported revenues of €8.78bn during the first half of the year, up 7.3 percent.