LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) — French lens manufacturer Essilor International agree to buy Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglass maker Luxottica Group in a deal estimated at some $24 billion.
The combined company, to be known as EssilorLuxottica, will be the largest company in the eyewear industry, manufacturing frames and prescription lenses for glasses and sunglasses. The new company will have some 140,000 employees and sales in more than 150 countries.
The company will be run by Leonardo Del Vecchio, who created the Italy-based Luxottica in 1961, as the executive chairman and chief executive officer. Essilor CEO Hubert Sagnieres will serve as executive vice chairman and deputy CEO of the combined company.
Bloomberg said the deal is the largest ever acquisition of an Italian company by a foreign buyer.
“By bringing together Essilor and Luxottica, the new group would be in an outstanding position to propose a comprehensive offering combining a strong brand portfolio, global distribution capabilities and complementary expertise in ophthalmic lenses, prescription frames and sunglasses,” Sagnieres said.
Luxottica is known for making luxury-brand frames for companies that include Chanel and Prada and is the biggest eyeglass retailer with chains that include Sunglass Hut and Lenscrafters.