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Last Major Hurdle Cleared in Essilor Luxottica Merger

The antitrust regulator of the People’s Republic of China, State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), has approved the proposed combination of Essilor and Luxottica. This approval clears the way for the closing of the transaction and the finalization of the merger, now expected at the end of third quarter.
 
SAMR approved the proposed combination between the two companies after they made certain commitments regarding the conduct of their business in China. As part of the communications with the China body, Essilor and Luxottica committed to inform SAMR about their future acquisitions and to ensure availability of their products and services to all customers in China on a fair basis.
 
Clearance from Chinese authority was the last condition precedent to the closing of the transaction and paves the way for the combination to be finalized. The two companies are also progressing with their discussions with the Turkish antitrust authority and expect the closing of the transaction at the end of the third quarter. 
 
Essilor and Luxottica announced their plans to merge their companies in January 2017. At the time, the companies described the merger as being “designed to create an integrated player dedicated to visual health and superior consumer experience.” The proposed merging of two global powerhouses in the optical—encompassing frames, lenses, equipment, retail outlets, practice management services, and managed care plan—was met with concerns about antitrust violations and the creation of a monopoly.
 
For the past year and half, the two companies have been working with antitrust regulators in countries throughout the world to meet their conditions for approval. As EB reported, the merger was cleared by the antitrust commissions in the United States and the EU on March 1 of this year.
 
The companies had extended to July 31 the deadline of their contractual agreements regarding the pending merger of the two companies, as they awaited approval from the China. The first General Meeting of EssilorLuxottica shareholders, which was scheduled for July 25, 2018, will be reconvened by the EssilorLuxottica’s Board of Directors for a later date to be announced soon.
Susan Tarrant