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Luxottica-Essilor Deal Solves Key Issue for Founder

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He’ll avoid one type of disruption.

Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio sees his company’s planned merger with Essilor as a way to keep the company stable even after he’s gone, Bloomberg reports.

Del Vecchio didn’t want to put control of the Luxottica in the hands of any of his six children, according to the news service. At the same time, he had little luck identifying a successor among the eyewear giant’s management ranks, as several high-level executives had left the company since 2014. 

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg explains that Del Vecchio “believes that owning a smaller stake in a larger operation and shifting his assets to a holding company will reduce the chances of disruption to the business if there’s any discord among his heirs.”

Del Vecchio will serve as executive chairman and CEO of the combined organization, to be called EssilorLuxottica. Essilor Chairman and CEO Hubert Sagnières will serve as executive vice chairman and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica with equal powers as the chairman and CEO. Del Vecchio and Sagnières will also keep their positions of executive chairman of Luxottica and chairman and CEO of Essilor International, respectively.

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Following the transaction, Delfin, the Del Vecchio family holding company, will own between 31 percent and 38 percent of the shares of EssilorLuxottica and will be its largest shareholder.

Bloomberg reports that Del Vecchio plans to serve as executive chairman for three years. After that point, “shareholders will decide whether to keep him on or choose a successor.”

Luxottica (NYSE: LUX), based in Milan, Italy, is the largest eyewear firm in the world, with a brand portfolio that includes names such as Ray-Ban and Oakley. Its retail division includes many well-known names, including LensCrafters, Sunglasses Hut and Pearle Vision.

Essilor, which makes lenses as well as instruments and equipment, is based in France.

Read more at Bloomberg

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