Essilor and Luxottica announced that the proposed 48-billion-euro ($58.49 billion) combination between the two companies has been cleared by the European Commission without conditions. The European Union is one of the jurisdictions where antitrust approvals are a condition precedent to the closing of the transaction.
To date, the transaction has also been unconditionally approved in 13 other countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan.
The finalization of the proposed Essilor and Luxottica combination is planned for the first part of 2018 after obtaining all necessary authorizations.
The deal is the largest acquisition ever of an Italian company by a foreign buyer. The companies said the transaction should generate cost savings and increased revenue of 400 million euros to 600 million euros a year within about 3 to 4 years. The combined company will have more than 15 billion euros in annual revenue, and will control about 27% of the eyewear market, putting them far ahead of other competitors, such as Johnson & Johnson and Safilo Group, both with market shares below 4%, according to Euromonitor.
Luxottica makes frames for luxury brands such as Armani, Chanel, and Prada, and is the biggest eyeglass retailer, with chains including Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut. Essilor is the world’s top maker of lenses.