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EssilorLuxottica weighs up appeal after GrandVision case dismissed

A Dutch court has dismissed a EssilorLuxottica court case demanding that its potential takeover target Grandvision disclose information over the way it conducted business during COVID-19, leaving the door open for an appeal.

The Franco-Italian eyewear giant initiated court proceedings against GrandVision – the company it is seeking to acquire in a €7.2 billion (AU$11.8 b) deal – in July amid concerns over how GrandVision managed its business during the crisis, as well as the extent to which it is alleged to have breached obligations under a support agreement.

For the past year, EssilorLuxottica has been seeking to acquire a controlling interest in the Dutch-based multinational in order to control its more than 7,200 stores across 40 countries and vastly expand its retail presence.

“The court dismissed EssilorLuxottica’s demands for disclosure of information from both HAL (which owns a 76.72% ownership interest) and GrandVision on how the latter company conducted business during COVID-19,” an EssilorLuxottica statement said.

“EssilorLuxottica is studying the judgment and assessing its options, including the possibility of filing an appeal against the judgment. The company remains concerned about GrandVision’s behaviour in continuing to deny access to important information related to their handling of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In its own statement, GrandVision stated that its previously announced arbitration proceedings against EssilorLuxottica are proceeding as planned.

“These proceedings are confidential and behind closed doors. GrandVision continues to support EssilorLuxottica with the shared objective to obtain regulatory approval for the closure of the Transaction within 12 to 24 months from the announcement date of 31 July 2019.”

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