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EssilorLuxottica Plans $8B Acquisition of Optical Retailer

GrandVision has over 7,200 stores globally.

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EssilorLuxottica announced plans to acquire GrandVision, a Netherlands-based optical retailer, in a deal worth up to $8 billion.

The company, which makes ophthalmic lenses, frames and sunglasses, will acquire Hal Optical Investments B.V.’s 76.72% interest in GrandVision, then launch a mandatory public offer for all outstanding GrandVision shares, according to a press release.

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Through the acquisition, EssilorLuxottica will expand its optical retail platform, primarily in Europe, by adding more than 7,200 stores globally, over 37,000 employees and $4.1 billion in annual revenue.

Among GrandVision’s holdings are the For Eyes chain in the U.S. and Vision Express in Great Britain. Reuters notes that the deal will give EssilorLuxottica “control of more than 7,000 outlets across the world where it already sells brands including Varilux lenses and Ray-Ban sunglasses.”

The transaction is expected to close in 12 to 24 months. It is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

EssilorLuxottica currently operates over 10,000 stores and several proprietary online platforms with a strong presence in the Americas. GrandVision operates more than 7,200 optical stores and online platforms in more than 40 different countries, with a strong presence in Europe and Latin America.

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Leonardo Del Vecchio, executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, said: “Following the creation of EssilorLuxottica, which I strongly pursued, the acquisition of GrandVision represents the realization of a vision that has guided my actions and the growth of Luxottica over all these years. With GrandVision we will be able to develop our retail network, finally extended throughout the geographies, and fully enable our multichannel and digital platforms. We will raise the quality of in-store experience for products, brands and services for the benefit of all consumers and our wholesale customers.”

Stephan Borchert, CEO of GrandVision, said: “The future integration of GrandVision with EssilorLuxottica brings new opportunities to GrandVision’s business, its well-established retail banners, stores, employees and all our stakeholders. Furthermore, it will create a truly global eyecare and eyewear company that is ideally positioned to capture changing consumer needs and behaviors, and provide its customers with a high quality optical omni-channel customer experience. This transaction is expected to provide value to GrandVision’s shareholders, while allowing for the acceleration of GrandVision’s growth strategy through the expansion of our store network and online platforms. EssilorLuxottica’s interest in joining forces with GrandVision is a clear recognition of GrandVision’s successful strategy, our state-of-the-art retail platform and our people. We look forward to joining forces with EssilorLuxottica in what will be an exciting new chapter ahead.”

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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