EssilorLuxottica top investor seeks arbitration in governance spat

MILAN, March 27 (Reuters) - The holding of Leonardo Del Vecchio, the top shareholder and executive chairman of EssilorLuxottica, has filed an arbitration request to verify what it said were violations of a merger agreement between Italy’s Luxottica and France’s Essilor, it said on Wednesday.

Essilor and Luxottica merged last October, creating the world’s largest eye-wear maker in a 54 billion euro ($61.73 billion) deal.

The French and the Italian groups were supposed to have equal weighting in the combined company’s leadership, but they now accuse each other of trying to gain the upper hand.

Delfin, the holding of Luxottica’s founder Del Vecchio, said in a statement the arbitration request was filed with the International Chamber of Commerce and that it was seeking an injunction to ensure that the power-sharing agreement in the deal would be respected until it expires in 2021.

It said the request was due to a deadlock within the board of the merged group which was hampering the integration process and planned synergies.

Reporting by Silvia Aloisi