Luxottica, Essilor Merger Cleared by U.S., European Commission

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MILAN — A little more than a year after the announcement of the Essilor and Luxottica proposed merger in January 2017, the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have cleared the project without conditions. To date, the transaction has been unconditionally approved in 13 other countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Taiwan. China is the remaining jurisdiction where antitrust approval is still pending. Brazil gave the green light last week, which will be ratified over the next few days. The merger is expected to be finalized in the first part of this year. The Italian group produces eyewear under license for names including the Giorgio Armani Group, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Prada and Versace and also has a number of owned brands, such as Ray-Ban, Oakley and Persol. It and Essilor, the leading maker of lenses worldwide, have agreed to a 46 billion euro, or $48.7 billion, merger to form an eyewear powerhouse with annual sales of more than 15 billion euros. Luxottica and Essilor combined will have more than 140,000 employees and sales in more than 150 countries. In the new entity, Luxottica founder Leonardo Del Vecchio will serve as executive chairman

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