MILAN — Eyewear giant Luxottica denied an Italian report that chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio plans to sell his majority stake in his company to his son and a group of managers at the firm.

This story first appeared in the January 14, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Luxottica put out a release stating that the company is examining a preliminary plan to increase “management participation” in the company but that such a plan would involve at most 30 percent of the firm’s capital.

A Luxottica spokeswoman declined further comment on the report and whether there are also plans to sell shares to Claudio Del Vecchio, president and ceo of Connecticut-based Retail Brand Alliance, which owns Brooks Bros., Casual Corner, Petite Sophisticates, August Max and Adrienne Vittadini. Claudio is the son of Leonardo.

Italian daily Finanza & Mercati reported that Leonardo Del Vecchio would sell 49 percent of Luxottica to Claudio and 20 percent to the group of five managers that includes chief executive Roberto Chemello in an operation that would be worth about $6.37 billion, or 5 billion euros in local currency.

Leonardo Del Vecchio’s firm last year signed an eyewear licensing deal with Versace. Del Vecchio also joined the house’s board.