The marriage between the champion, tri-coloured glasses, and the leader alpine the frames creates a group of about 15 billion euros of turnover, of which the weight in the stock Exchange is expected to increase to 50 billion euro.
The contract was signed, in Paris, Sunday, January 15, in the late afternoon. The political leaders of the French and italians have been warned just after : Essilor and Luxottica, the largest optics companies of the two sides of the Alps, have decided to merge. The project, formalized Monday, January 16, before the opening of financial markets, aims to create the european champion of the glasses. A group of about 15 billion euros of turnover, with strong staining French, whose weight in the stock Exchange is expected to increase to 50 billion euros. This is one of the largest mergers and acquisitions undertaken in Europe for years.
on one side, the world champion of the glasses. On the other, that of frames, including sunglasses, with brands such as Ray-Ban and Oakley. Judging by their two complementary businesses, the leaders of the French and italians had already begun discussions on a possible reconciliation, there is a little more than two years, without success. Leonardo Del Vecchio, the patriarch, who founded Luxottica in 1961 in a small village of the Veneto region, was not yet ready to let go of his very expensive baby.
” A big bang for the sector, “
No doubt the difficulties encountered in the search for a successor, combined with the disappearance of several major Italian leaders, including the boss of Ferrero, in 2015, and that of the distribution chain Esselunga, in 2016, have they brought the billionaire 81 years, one of the largest fortunes in the country, to take, finally, the question to arm-the-body. And to find the terms and conditions of a merger with Essilor, its principal supplier of correction glasses. the ” A real big bang for the sector, which could encourage other players in the sector to get closer “, expects of those who have followed the discussions.
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Legally, the operation, revealed Monday, is a change of control of Luxottica, Essilor. In a first time, Mr. Del Vecchio will bring at Essilor the 62 % he holds in his group, in exchange for shares of the French company. Essilor will launch then a public exchange offer to enable the minority shareholders of Luxottica to participate in the new adventure under the same financial conditions, that is to say, without premium or discount. They will be able to share 1 000 shares Luxottica versus 461 shares Essilor.
at the end of these operations, Mr. Del Vecchio will be the reference shareholder of the new entity, renamed EssilorLuxottica. It should hold about a third of the capital, but its voting rights will be limited to 31 %. It will become, in addition, the group’s CEO, while Hubert Sagnières, the current boss of Essilor, will be the vice-CEO.
7e rank of the CAC-40
The future EssilorLuxottica should thus become, in practice, at least at the start, a house with franco-Italian. Its headquarters is located in Charenton (Val-de-Marne). It will essentially be listed in Paris, even though the shares will continue to be treated in way that is probably transient in Milan and New York.
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On paper, the new entity could be in the 7e rank in the CAC 40 by its market value. His boss and largest shareholder will be, to him, is an Italian very francophile : Mr. Del Vecchio spends a good part of his life in Beaulieu (Alpes-Maritimes), on the côte d’azur. The board of directors will be composed of eight personalities from Essilor and the other eight from the Italian camp.
The project, which has yet to receive the green light from the competition authorities of many countries, should enable economies of scale and other synergies valued at between 500 million and 600 million euros. For the leaders, the marriage, which does not provide for plant closure or layoffs, should allow to progress more quickly. In particular, to develop glasses that are connected, like Google has attempted without much success. And to deliver faster glasses full to those who need it.
Luxottica is advised in this folder by Mediobianca, while banks Rothschild and Citi are handling the French side.