Italian-French Eyewear Merger Jeopardized by Management Feud

  • Fashion
Italian-French Eyewear Merger Jeopardized by Management Feud

Ray-Ban owner Luxottica and French prescription lens-maker Essilor completed their $53 billion merger in a bid to establish the world's largest eye-war company.

The deal, however, is facing hard times with shares dropping by 22% since the two companies merged, amid a dispute between Ray-Ban's 83-year-old founder Leonardo Del Vecchio and Essilor’s Hubert Sagnieres over who should lead the merged company.

Del Vecchio accused Essilor leaders of violating terms of their agreement on corporate governance, while Sagnieres denied allegations and accused the Italian founder of raising a “de facto attempt to take control of the new group.”

“This approach, which is contrary to the company’s social interest, is detrimental to the company and to all its shareholders,” Sagnieres said.

“He has acted as if Essilor bought Luxottica,” Del Vecchio told Le Figaro. "I invested all my fortune after 60 years of work in the new company. It's a long term investment and I don't regret it."