A fraud that has come to light in an EssilorLuxottica factory in Thailand, could cost the French-Italian eyewear group nearly 200 million euros.
Not much information has yet come out of the Thai factory, but it appears that 190 million euros could be lost as accounts are frozen. The company has already announced it has sacked all staff involved and will try to reclaim at least part of the gigantic sum through lawsuits and insurance companies. It may however be forced to record the loss in its full-year results as a one-off cost.
EssilorLuxottica came out of the 2017 merger of French lens maker Essilor and Italian eyewear manufacturer Luxottica, known for its brands such as Oakley, Prada and Ray-Ban. The group employs 140,000 people and last summer, also purchased Grandvision, the parent company of optician chains Pearle and EyeWish.
Despite EssilorLuxottica's enormous position of power, the merger between the two parties has not resulted in a happy marriage for the time being. Internally, the group is strongly divided, something that was painfully reflected at the beginning of this year in the open power struggle between billionaire Leonardo Del Vecchio on the one hand, and his French partners on the other.