EssilorLuxottica Shareholders Reject Appointment of Two New Independent Directors

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At the Shareholders meeting, Hubert Sagnieres is seated third from left, flanked by Leonardo Del Vecchio on his left and Laurent Vacherot on his right.

CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France—EssilorLuxottica (Reuters: ESLX.PA) shareholders rejected resolutions to appoint two new independent directors at the company’s Annual General Meeting, held yesterday in Paris. The appointment of the two proposed independent directors, Wendy Evrard Lane and Jesper Brandgaard, was backed by investors who sought to stabilize the company following a dispute between executive chairman Leonardo Del Vecchio and executive vice-chairman Hubert Sagnieres over the newly merged company’s governance. All other resolutions were passed by the shareholders, according to a statement from EssilorLuxottica.

EssilorLuxottica shareholders had previously been informed that Laurent Vacherot, CEO of Essilor International, had been appointed as a director of EssilorLuxottica, replacing Bernard Hours. Vacherot’s appointment will be submitted for ratification by the shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting.

In advance of the meeting, EssilorLuxottica’s management took steps to resolve the company’s governance issues, which have raised concerns among investors. On May 13, EssilorLuxottica and Delfin, the holding company controlled by Del Vecchio that is the largest shareholder in EssilorLuxottica, announced that they had reached a settlement agreement to overcome outstanding governance issues and had “set the basis for a renewed start of profound collaboration between Essilor and Luxottica.”

Following yesterday’s meeting, both Del Vecchio and Sagnieres sought to reassure investors that the integration of Essilor and Luxottica is on track.

“We want to thank all shareholders who are supporting our project, including the funds that brought to the attention of the General Meeting additional resolutions and issues that will serve as a stimulus to improve and to act in the best interests of EssilorLuxottica. The agreement we have signed goes in this direction. From today’s General Meeting, we move forward strengthened with the belief that this combination is destined to redefine the entire industry for the benefit of all its stakeholders,” commented Del Vecchio.

“With the second shareholders’ meeting held today, we are further consolidating the basis of EssilorLuxottica’s integration, and we are moving forward with the simplification of the combined Group. Together with the recently announced agreement, we are now in a better position to ramp up our growth, take advantage of emerging opportunities and deliver on our mission,” said Sagnieres.