MILAN — Luxottica and Essilor said Friday that the deadline for the merger between the companies has been extended to July 31 as the Chinese competition authority has not yet approved the agreement, which is a condition to the closing. “The parties remain confident that they will succeed in completing the antitrust processes in China and Turkey in the coming weeks,” said Luxottica and Essilor in a joint statement.
The first general meeting of Essilor Luxottica shareholders was scheduled for July 25 and will be reconvened by the new entity’s board “for a later date to be announced as soon as possible.”
The announcement of the Essilor and Luxottica proposed merger was made in January 2017. In March, the European Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission cleared the project without conditions.
The transaction has been unconditionally approved in 14 other countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Brazil and Taiwan.
Luxottica produces eyewear under license for names including the Giorgio Armani Group, Bulgari, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, Prada and Versace and 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 and chief executive officer and Hubert Sagnières, Essilor’s chairman and ceo, will become executive vice chairman and deputy ceo. Del Vecchio and Sagnières will also keep their positions of executive chairman of Luxottica and chairman and ceo of Essilor International, respectively.