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Ray-Ban owner to merge with lens maker with focus on greater revenues

The company behind Ray-Ban sunglasses is to merge with French lens maker Essilor in a 46 billion euro (£40 billion) tie up.

Italian group Luxottica, which also owns Oakley and Sunglasses Hut, and Essilor are expected to rake in revenues of 15 billion euro (£13 billion) as a combined entity.

The newly created EssilorLuxottica hopes to generate revenue and cost savings of up to 600 million euro (£527 million) off the back of the deal.

Leonardo Del Vecchio, Luxottica's billionaire founder, will be the majority shareholder of the group with his holding company owning between 31% and 38%.

He said: "With this agreement my dream to create a major global player in the eyewear industry, fully integrated and excellent in all its parts, comes finally true.

"The marriage between two key companies in their sectors will bring great benefits to the market, for employees and mainly for all our consumers.

"Finally, after 50 years, two products which are naturally complementary, namely frames and lenses, will be designed, manufactured and distributed under the same roof."

Mr Del Vecchio will also take up the role of chief executive and executive chairman of the merged company, which will be listed in Paris.

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