April 19, 2018 / 12:11 PM / a year ago

Luxottica chairman says China may seek 'minor restrictions' to clear Essilor deal

MILAN (Reuters) - China’s competition authorities may ask for minor restrictions before clearing a merger between Italian eyewear group Luxottica LUX.MI and French lens manufacturer Essilor, Luxottica chairman said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Milanese group’s annual general meeting, Chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio said the relative size of the two groups’ Chinese operations made it more likely that the adjustments requested could affect Essilor rather than Luxottica.

Earlier on Thursday Del Vecchio had said he expected to wrap up the deal with Essilor in May to create an eyewear giant with 17 billion euros in annual sales.

A green light from China - the only key jurisdiction that is still to clear the merger after recent approvals in Europe and the United States - is expected in the next few weeks, Luxottica CEO Francesco Milleri said on Thursday.

Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, writing by Valentina Za,

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