Luxottica has obtained 82.57 percent of the equity of OPSM Group through its Australian subsidiary, Luxottica South Pacific, at the close of the bidding process last Sept. 2. Lazard Asset Management and other institutional investors reportedly decided to hold on to the remaining shares, considering that the price offered by Luxottica was too low, even considering the immediate impact of the SARS epidemic on OPSM's sales in Asia. The score gives to the Italian company the right to appoint all the directors of the leading optical retail group in the region, but it prevents a full merger with its other local operations, which would have been possible if Luxottica had obtained 90 percent of the shares. As of last June 30, these consisted notably of a total of 158 Sunglass Hut stores, including a dozen Face-It stores that it had bought a couple of years ago. OPSM will continue to trade on the stock exchange in Sydney.