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EssilorLuxottica’s GrandVision bid ‘could fall foul of regulators’
Posted on Friday, 05 June 2020 09:00
The planned acquisition of Dutch optician operator GrandVision by sunglasses manufacturer EssilorLuxottica may have an adverse impact on competition, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. According to the sources, EU regulators plan to warn the buyer and outline their concerns via an official statement within the next few days. Reuters noted that the move may force EssilorLuxottica to offer a number of concessions in order to secure approval for the combination. However, the news provider stopped short of speculating on what these compromises might be. None of the parties have made any official statement on the report as yet. EssilorLuxottica agreed to acquire GrandVision in July of last year; under the terms of the deal, it will pay EUR 28.00 per share for a 76.7 per cent stake in the business, equating to a deal value of EUR 5.46 billion. However, the agreement stated that the purchase price would be upped to EUR 28.42 per item of stock if closing did not occur within 12 months of the agreement. Upon completion, the buyer would submit a mandatory public offer for the balance of the firm. In January of this year, De Telegraaf reported that a number of glasses vendors expressed concerns over the proposed combination’s impact on competition to the European Commission, which initiated a Phase II review of the deal in February. Regulators in the US, Colombia and Russia had already given the green light. However, the investigation was delayed in April due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. GrandVision describes itself as a global leader in optical retailing and has operations spanning more than 40 countries. It retails from over 7,000 stores, as well as online, and offers prescription glasses, including frames and lenses, contact lenses and sunglasses. © Zephus Ltd