Luxottica, Del Vecchio to the clash with Essilor

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    According to Il Sole 24 Ore, the relationship between italians and french in the EssilorLuxottica group is in a head-on collision. The day after the board of directors that initiated the procedures for choosing a new managing director – stresses the italian newspaper – Luxottica’s owner Leonardo del Vecchio comes out in the open with a fiery statement against the French partners: «Delfin (Del vecchio’s holding company) identified behaviors of some representatives of Essilor that would deserve the immediate adoption of appropriate measures by the Council – the note reads -, as contrary to the duty of loyal cooperation and good faith required by the 2017 Combination Agreement between Essilor and Delfin, essential for the proper functioning of the Company’s governance ».

    For Delfin – the note continues – these behaviors constitute a blatant violation of the Combination Agreement and EssilorLuxottica’s governance rules“.

    The title suffers in Paris after the outbreak of the conflict. The title in Paris yields 5% while the Cac 40 index loses 0.15%.

    This turning point opens new scenarios. The statement came just the day after the Board of Directors, which was supposed to appoint a “headhunter” to search for a new CEO. In the past few weeks it was precisely the role that Francesco Milleri, CEO of the Italian group and right arm of Leonardo Del Vecchio, will have in the new organization to warm the spirits. Milleri has always been Leonardo Del Vecchio’s candidate at the head of the 16 billion turnover giant. Last November Del Vecchio stated that he wanted to propose “immediately” Milleri to the management of the group.

    But during the first shareholders’ meeting, however, he had softened the position, indicating that he had not expressed that his “wishes for the future”. The agreements between the French and the Italians, in terms of the choice of the CEO, in fact indicate a precise “market” path, as written in the letter implementing the agreements: the selection must be managed by the nomination committee of the holding company, which will in turn use a headhunter company. Only at the end will everything be examined by the Board of Directors.

    In short – writes Il Sole 24 Ore – the marriage between Essilor and Luxottica has its first difficulty.

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