Models wearing Ray Ban sunglasses

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Luxottica, the world’s largest glasses maker, has agreed an enormous merger with a rival eyewear agency.

The Italian eyewear designer, which owns Ray-Ban and Oakley, is to merge with French lens maker Esillor.

Mixed, the 2 companies will likely be price about €46bn (£40bn; $49bn).

The deal may also assist to supply a succession plan for Leonardo Del Vecchio, Luxottica’s 81-year-old founder.

Mr Del Vecchio, an orphan who grew to become Italy’s richest man, based Luxottica in 1961.

By a collection of acquisitions, together with of Ray-Ban in 1999 and Oakley in 2007, the agency has change into the world’s largest spectacles maker.

It additionally has licensing agreements to create eyewear for main vogue manufacturers, together with Burberry, Dolce & Gabanna and Versace.

Nonetheless, it has gone by way of three chief executives previously two years after Mr Del Vecchio regained government powers on the firm.

Questions on Mr Del Vecchio’s succession plans have additionally weighed on the agency’s share value, which is down 14% previously 12 months.

The agency mentioned in 2014 that it had beforehand explored a cope with Esillor, the world’s largest maker of prescription lenses, however that situations weren’t proper on the time.

“The wedding between two key corporations of their sectors will deliver nice advantages to the market, for workers and primarily for all our shoppers,” Leonardo Del Vecchio, Luxottica’s government chairman mentioned in an announcement.