Byline: Luisa Zargani

MILAN — Italian eyewear maker Luxottica Group SpA announced Monday it plans to be listed on the Milan Stock Exchange by the end of the year.
Luxottica also proposed a 2-for-1 stock split that would result in an increase in the number of the company’s authorized shares from 231,375,000 to 462,750,000.
“The offer of a stock split shows that the members of the board believe in the future growth of Luxottica,” said Leonardo Del Vecchio, founder, chairman and majority shareholder of the company, in a statement issued on Monday. He said the stock split would allow Luxottica to increase liquidity of the shares quoted on the New York Stock Exchange, which will thus be more accessible to smaller investors.
Del Vecchio said the decision to approach the domestic market emerged only “to increase the shares’ liquidity through an increase of the floating funds, and to favor the access of European investors to the structure.”
The listing of Luxottica’s ordinary shares on the Milan Stock Exchange will be conducted through a public offering of existing shares currently held by Del Vecchio to both retail and institutional investors in Italy and abroad.
Luxottica expects the offering may consist of as much as 10 to 12 percent of the currently authorized share capital.
The proposals will be presented at shareholders’ meetings set for May 3 and May 10.
Luxottica, based in Agordo, in the Northeastern part of Italy, produces and distributes eyeglass frames for designers Giorgio Armani, Byblos, Valentino, Chanel, Bulgari, Ferragamo, Moschino, Genny and Yves Saint Laurent and Anne Klein.
In 1999, the luxury group reported sales of $1.89 billion, up 21.6 percent from the previous year, and said it expects consolidated sales of $2.2 billion this year.
Last year, Luxottica acquired Bausch & Lomb’s sunglass business, including Ray-Ban, Revo, Arnette and Killer Loop.

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