As expected since EssilorLuxottica’s previous announcement two days ago, the group completed on July 1 the acquisition of HAL’s 76.72 percent stake in GrandVision at the price of €28.42 per share agreed in July 2019. The transaction will amount to a payment of approximatively €5.5 billion and the Italo-French group confirmed that sufficient funds had been secured in order to finance this acquisition as well as the purchase of the outstanding shares.
Under the terms of the Dutch financial regulations, EssilorLuxottica has now become a predominant shareholder in the stock-listed GrandVision and is therefore under the obligation of launching a public offer for all outstanding shares in the company.
The company said it would be offering a unit price of €28.42 for these shares, i.e. the same price as it is paying for HAL’s shares, and would subsequently delist GrandVision from the Amsterdam stock exchange. EssilorLuxottica has until Sept. 23 to submit its mandatory offer to the Dutch financial regulators and the whole process is expected to complete within six months.
Stephan Borchert, CEO of GrandVision, commented that the company was excited to turn a new chapter in its history and was delighted that the transaction could come through after significant efforts from all involved parties. Borchert added that the company was welcoming EssilorLuxottica as its new majority shareholder and was now ideally positioned to provide its customers with a best-in-class omnichannel experience. He also highlighted that GrandVision was currently experiencing a strong business recovery, similar to that of the second half of 2020.
Following the completion of the transaction with EssilorLuxottica and as approved during GrandVision’s annual general assembly on June 30, the Dutch-based retail group’s supervisory board has been changed with the nomination of four members by the new majority shareholder: Grita Loebsack, group chief marketing office at Essilor, Claudia Giganti, real estate and store development controller at Luxottica, Sara Francescutto, head of market business controlling at Luxottica and Éric Léonard, chief integration officer at EssilorLuxottica. The board is completed by two former members: Kees van der Graaf, who will continue to serve as chairman, and Rianne Meijerman.
As for the management board, Borchert and Willem Eelman, chief financial officer, are committed to remain in place until the post-closing of the transaction with EssilorLuxottica and the mandatory public offer for GrandVision’s outstanding shares.
The share price of EssilorLuxottica hit a record level of €157.7 on the opening of the stock exchange on July 30, the day after the group announced its decision to complete the transaction, before slightly decreasing to €152.7 at the end of the day on July 1. GrandVision’s share price has been on a roller coaster in the last couple of weeks, dropping from €27.3 to €24.6 after the arbitral decision favorable to EssilorLuxottica, before shooting back up to just over €28 on June 30.
HAL Holding, which will receive €5.5 billion from EssilorLuxottica, said it has realized a €3.5 billion capital gain in the transaction. The Curaçao-based holding company also acquired Rotter y Kraus from GrandVision as part of the agreement. The divestment of the Chilean optical retail chain was a condition to the approval of the takeover by the country’s market regulator.
For similar reasons, a total of roughly 350 European stores will also have to be divested. They include 35 Grand Optical shops in Belgium, 142 Eyewish shops in the Netherlands, as well as 173 retails locations in Italy, including the VistaSi and GrandVision by banners. GrandVision said that the sale of these operations was continuing as planned, without giving further details.