Italy’s Luxottica and France’s Essilor are getting together to create a global eyewear powerhouse.
The all-share deal is one of Europe’s largest cross-border tie-ups.
Essilor is the leading lens manufacturer.
Luxottica is the world’s top glasses maker and and is best known for brands like Ray-Ban and Oakley.
With 7,800 shops in 150 countries, it was founded in 1961 by 81-year-old Leonardo Del Vecchio, who is now Italy’s second richest man.
Combined they are worth around 46 billion euros, with annual revenue of more than 15 billion euros.
They will focus on expected strong demand for prescription spectacles and sunglasses due to an aging global population and increasing awareness about eye care.
The idea is that together they will be able to better cope with slowing sales growth, rising competition from cheaper rivals and the challenge of online distribution.