Luxottica explored Essilor deal but conditions were not right

MILAN, Sept 1 Mon Sep 1, 2014 1:55pm EDT

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MILAN, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Italian luxury eyewear maker Luxottica looked at a possible deal with French rival Essilor but decided not to pursue it and is no longer considering it, Luxottica's new co-chief executive said on Monday.

"A deal with Essilor was explored, about a year and a half ago, but it was concluded that there were not the right conditions to go ahead," Enrico Cavatorta told an analyst call.

"It was an opportunity that was analysed, it's a year-and-a -half old, it is not on the table today," he added.

He said there were a number of reasons, including a shareholding governance issue, why it did not go ahead.

Cavatorta took over as new co-CEO of the world's largest eyewear maker by revenue on Monday, as long-standing CEO Andrea Guerra stepped down after falling out with Luxottica's key shareholder and Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio.

A possible deal with Essilor has been reported to be one of the issues over which Del Vecchio and Guerra had disagreed as it would have strongly diluted Del Vecchio's stake.

But Cavatorta said Guerra, Del Vecchio, and the board had all agreed not to go ahead.

(Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Stephen Jewkes)

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