Return of founder may signal a big move is in the making.

After three CEO departures in the last 18 months, Luxottica is once again being captained by founder Leonardo Del Vecchio, whose unexpected return has company insiders speculating that he’s back to make deals, the Financial Times writes. “I am not back to solve critical issues, but to fully seize new opportunities in retail, emerging markets, e-commerce and in our key brands such as Oakley and Ray-Ban,” Del Vecchio said in a recorded speech to analysts cited in the article.

The deep-dive piece touches on a “potential megadeal hanging over the industry,” which analysts contacted by the Financial Times say might be some kind of merger between Luxottica and Essilor that “would create a company able to seize opportunities in both vision correction and sunglasses.” Such a deal, however, was first discussed by the company three years ago, and talks broke down after a few months. Another potential blockbuster analysts say to watch out for – should nothing happen between Luxottica and Essilor – is the acquisition of Safilo by Essilor. One industry insider quoted in the article says that pairing would “be a game-changer for the industry” because it would put Luxottica and Essilor in direct competition with each other.

Read more at The Financial Times

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