A blockbuster deal in the eyecare retail space was announced on Wednesday as EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, agreed to buy Dutch retailer GrandVision NV in multi-billion dollar deal.
Paris-based EssilorLuxottica agreed to buy control (77%) of European rival GrandVision for about €5.49 billion (about $6.1 billion). EssilorLuxottica said that after completing a transaction with holding company HAL Holding, it would seek to buy out the rest of GrandVision, which could ultimately value the Dutch company at more than €7.15 billion ($8 billion).
EssilorLuxottica operates more than 9,000 stores, including retail brands like LensCrafters and Pearle Vision in the United States. The deal with GrandVision would help EssilorLuxottica solidify its global dominance by adding a vast network of European eyewear chains. GrandVision operates about 5,300 stores across Europe and has a global network of more than 7,200 stores. GrandVision sells lower-priced eyewear through chains such as Brilleland and For Eyes in more than 40 countries.
Analysts say the deal between EssilorLuxottica and GrandVision would provide greater scale by allowing the companies to pool their e-commerce offerings as they seek to address growing consumer demand to shop online.
EssilorLuxottica was created last year from the €46.3 billion euro merger between Italian sunglasses maker Luxottica and French lens manufacturer Essillor. The acquisition of GrandVision is dependent on meeting various conditions including antitrust clearance.