EssiLux loses court appeal against takeover target GrandVision

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Luxottica name is reflected in a pair of sunglasses in this photo illustration taken in Rome

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Spectacles maker EssilorLuxottica on Tuesday lost an appeal in its court battle with takeover target GrandVision, removing a possible hurdle for the 7.2 billion euro ($8.5 billion) deal.

EssilorLuxottica in August last year lost a Dutch court case in which it had said that GrandVision’s decisions to suspend payments to store owners and suppliers and to apply for state aid could give grounds for ending its proposed takeover.

The Rotterdam district court at the time said EssiLux had failed to prove its claim that the Dutch operator of eyewear stores had breached the takeover agreement by not asking permission for the actions it took as lockdowns to combat COVID-19 spread throughout Europe.

GrandVision and its owner HAL Trust accused EssiLux of seeking opportunities to end the deal or bargain for a lower price.

But the French-Italian company maintained throughout the case that it was determined to complete the acquisition.

It is, however, still seeking more access to documents on GrandVision’s pandemic policies in a pending arbitration case.

EssiLux’s bid to control the Dutch eyewear group’s more than 7,000 outlets across the world was one of the largest takeover deals announced globally in 2019.

EU antitrust regulators last month agreed to the takeover under the condition that more than 300 GrandVision-operated stores in three countries will be sold to address competition concerns.

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