The European Commission has cleared Essilor’s acquisition of GrandVision after an in-depth review largely impacted by consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The clearance is conditioned to the divestment of some optical retail businesses in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy for an overall number of approximately 350 stores; in Belgium, the GrandOptical chain and its 35 stores will be sold but without the brand name; the purchaser will have a license while rebranding these stores to its own choice of name. In Italy, the merged entity will divest 174 stores, including the whole of EssilorLuxottica’s VistaSì chain together with 72 stores from the ‘GrandVision by’ chain. The VistaSì brand will be transferred and the ‘GrandVision by’ stores will either be rebranded to VistaSì or to the purchaser’s own brand. In the Netherlands, 142 stores from the EyeWish chain will be sold, together with the brand name. The merged entity will keep some stores from this chain and will have to rebrand them under a new name.
Competition authorities in Chile and Turkey are still to sign off on the transaction.
EssilorLuxottica has also entered into an agreement to acquire the Walman lab network, which has 35 facilities across the United States including prescription lensfinishing labs and hubs for optical instruments and other vision care products. As part of EssilorLuxottica, Walman will continue to serve the market under the Walman brand, delivering the same customer service and solutions their customers have come to expect.