LensCrafters And Ray-Ban Parent Company To Merge With Lens Maker, Form Eyewear Voltron

Image courtesy of Audrey Brevet

Luxxotica and Essilor may not be household names, but you may very well have one of their products on your face right now. If you’ve visited LensCrafters or Pearle Vision for your eyeglasses or contacts, or Sunglass Hut for sunglasses, you’ve done business with the Italian eyewear conglomerate Luxxotica, and if you bought Varilux or Transitions lenses during that visit, you’ve done business with the French lens company Essilor.

Essilor also owns the American brand Foster Grant, and Luxxotica owns sunglass brands Ray-Ban and Oakley. Together, they would sell products or have stores in more than 150 countries, and create a company valued at $49 billion.

It really is a case where two industry giants combine to form an industry Voltron. According to research by Euromonitor International, the combined firm would have 27% of the global eyewear market if it isn’t forced to divest any businesses to please regulators along the way.

“By joining forces today, these two international players can now accelerate their global expansion,” the chairman and CEO of Essilor said in a statement, raising the question of where exactly the company expects to expand to.

The companies’ shareholders still have to approve the deal, and it has to meet regulatory approval.

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