EssilorLuxottica can acquire GrandVision, but must sell stores

French-Italian eyewear group EssilorLuxottica has been given the green light from Europe to acquire Grandvision, but it must sell the GrandOptical and Eye Wish stores.


Dominant position

The deal is finally done: Dutch eyewear group GrandVision will be in the hands of EssilorLuxottica, known for brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley. But Europe has imposed conditions: the merged group must dispose of more than 300 shops in total, including the 35 GrandOptical shops in Belgium, the 142 Eye Wish shops in the Netherlands, and another 174 shops of GrandVision and VistaSi in Italy.

Back in the summer of 2019, EssilorLuxottica announced that it wanted to acquire its Dutch sector peer Grandvison for a sum of 7.3 billion euro. But European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager then ordered an investigation into whether the new optics group would not become too dominant in Europe. EssilorLuxottica will, after all, control almost the entire chain: from the production of glasses and frames, to eye measurement devices and shops.

For a while it looked as if the takeover would not take place: after very bad results from GrandVision, EssilorLuxottica started summary proceedings against the Dutch group, because it would not give enough information about the state of affairs during the corona crisis. GrandVision then started arbitration proceedings to force the Italian-French eyewear giant to comply with the planned takeover.