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EssilorLuxottica secures final GrandVision clearance; unveils sustainable acetate plans

Essilorluxottica sustainability

The Turkish Competition Authority has cleared EssilorLuxottica’s GrandVision takeover. It’s the final country to approve the deal, but it won’t be finalised until arbitration proceedings are ironed out between the two companies.

It comes as Luxottica also announced a stake in Italian eyewear materials producer Mazzucchelli to develop and manufacture “a highly sustainable type of acetate” that it plans to release to the wider optical market.

On 10 June, the Turkish government approved the GrandVision deal after EssilorLuxottica “made certain behavioural commitments” regarding the conduct of its business in the country.

Turkey was the last jurisdiction to consider the deal, which had previously been approved in the US, Russia, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. The European Commission cleared the acquisition on 23 March on the condition that around 350 stores are divested across Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

Once finalised, EssilorLuxottica will acquire a 76.7% stake in GrandVision that is currently owned by Dutch investment firm HAL. Valued by financial analysts to be worth €7.2 billion (AU$11.2 billion), it’s expected to see EssilorLuxottica drastically increase its footprint by around 7,000 stores and 37,000 employees across 40 countries.

However, the outcome of the transaction is still subject to the outcome of ongoing arbitration proceedings between the entities. The legal saga was sparked by EssilorLuxottica which was concerned about how GrandVision managed its business during the COVID-19 crisis.

In the latest development, GrandVision has requested an arbitral tribunal to confirm among other things, that it was is not in material breach of its agreement with EssilorLuxottica. HAL has also initiated proceedings.

“These proceedings are confidential. A decision … is expected in the second half of June 2021,” a GrandVision statement said.

Sustainable acetate

Meanwhile, Luxottica’s new deal with Mazzucchelli – a worldwide leader in the manufacture and distribution of cellulose acetate sheets – will see it take a minority 35% stake in the firm.

This will allow Mazzucchelli, based in the Lombardy region, to advance the manufacture of a sustainable acetate within its production plants.

“The transaction confirms and strengthens the long-standing commitment of Luxottica, which is part of the EssilorLuxottica Group, and Mazzucchelli to reduce the environmental impact of their activities in the long term along the value chain, increasing the offer of high quality and sustainable eyewear,” Luxottica stated.

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