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EssilorLuxottica May Reconsider GrandVision Deal

 |  December 9, 2020

EssilorLuxottica, the maker of Ray-Ban sunglasses, is reconsidering its agreed €7.3 billion (US$8.8 billion) purchase of optical retailer GrandVision NV over legal and pandemic concerns, reported Bloomberg.

The Franco-Italian company has become increasingly worried about the way the COVID-19 crisis has impacted GrandVision’s business, people said, asking not to be identified as the matter is private.

While EssilorLuxottica still sees the rationale of the deal, the changing business environment and a subsequent legal tussle with GrandVision have led it to consider its options, including renegotiating price or even walking away from the transaction, according to the people. Under the deal terms, EssilorLuxottica could be liable for a €400 million termination fee.

Any threat to reconsider the acquisition could put pressure on GrandVision’s owner HAL, which is controlled by the billionaire Van der Vorm family, to agree to different terms. Deliberations are ongoing and no decisions have been made as the companies work to gain regulatory approvals for the deal, the people said.