French-Italian optics group EssilorLuxottica has bought its Dutch competitor GrandVision in a deal that values the latter on 7.1 billion euros. The merger of the companies owning the Ray-Ban glasses and Pearle stores respectively is still subject to approval of the competition watchdogs.
The deal specifically means regards the 76.2 % of shares that were property of Dutch investor HAL (also the driving force behind e-commerce group Coolblue): the new owner pays 5.5 billion euros for those shares at 28 euros per share. Once the deal with HAL is completed, EssilorLuxottica also aims to (and even has to) buy out the smaller shareholders which still own more than 20 % of the shares.
If the deal is agreed to by the competition watchdogs, it should be completed in one or two years' time. However, this is far from sure as the new company would now hold a complete vertical line through the whole process: it produces glasses and frames, but also owns brands, stores and even eye measuring devices. The watchdogs already reacted without much enthusiasm when Essilor and Luxottica merged last year, while this merger would be even more profound...
GrandVision, owner of chains like Pearle, Grandoptical and EyeWish, is present in over forty countries with over 7,000 stores and has its headquarters in Schiphol near Amsterdam. EssilorLuxottica is only slightly bigger with 9,000 stores and has its headquarters in Paris.