EssilorLuxottica completes acquisition of GrandVision

The acquisition completed on 1 July 2021, at a price of €28.42 per share

Vision Express

EssilorLuxottica has completed the acquisition of a 76.72% ownership interest in GrandVision from HAL Optical Investments.

The acquisition completed on 1 July 2021 at a price of €28.42 (£24.32) per share. This is in line with the agreement entered into on 30 July 2019.

Announcing its plans to complete the deal, Francesco Milleri and Paul du Saillant, respectively CEO and deputy CEO of EssilorLuxottica, shared: “The strategic rationale of the transaction remains strong and unchanged, and after two years of efforts and relentless work, we are now ready to turn a page and start a new chapter of EssilorLuxottica’s history, with GrandVision.”

The company said that it would ensure GrandVision and its 37,000 employees are integrated successfully.

EssilorLuxottica announced the board of director’s approval for completing the acquisition on 29 June, following an arbitral tribunal ruling which would have allowed the company to terminate the transaction.

Confirming the decision to continue the acquisition, the company executives said: “As the industry returns to growth following the pandemic, we believe this is the perfect time to expand our retail network, so that we can engage more effectively with consumers and thus raise the visibility and quality of the entire industry,” adding that this would benefit all stakeholders, including customers.

With EssilorLuxottica acquiring ‘predominant control’ over GrandVision, the company is now obligated to launch a public offer for all outstanding shares in GrandVision, in line with Dutch public offer rules.

The company confirmed it would submit the offer memorandum for the mandatory public offer with the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) no later than 23 September this year and the offer price per share will be set at €28.42. Settlement of the mandatory public offer is expected to take place within six months.

On the acquisition, CEO of GrandVision, Stephan Borchert, said: “The combination of GrandVision and EssilorLuxottica creates a truly global eye care and eyewear company that is ideally positioned to serve the widest range of consumer needs across the world and to provide our customers with a best-in-class omnichannel experience.”

Highlighting the “unprecedented challenges” faced over the past 16 months, Borchert said that the company had “successfully managed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has enhanced the value of this great business. We are currently experiencing a strong business recovery, similar to that of the second half of 2020.”

Announcing the sale, previous owners of GrandVision, HAL Holding, shared that it was “grateful to have been part of the 25-year journey in which the Dutch-based Pearle B.V. developed through the entrepreneurship and hard work of all the people at GrandVision into a global leader in optical retail with operations in over 40 countries.”

Through the transaction, HAL has acquired the Chilean optical retail chain, Rotter y Kraus, which operates 97 stores.

EssilorLuxottica was assisted by Citi as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) financial adviser, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as M&A legal adviser, Stibble N.V as M&A legal adviser for Dutch law matters, as well as BonelliErede and Stibbe N.V as legal advisers in the arbitration process, and BonelliErede and Latham & Watkins LLP as antitrust legal advisers.