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Now France and Italy Are Fighting Over Sunglasses

  • Italian billionaire faces off against French managers
  • Share price tumbles as merger synergies ‘all but discarded’
Essilor International SA To Buy Ray-Ban Maker Luxottica Group SpA For About $24 Billion
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

France and Italy, already tussling over everything from immigration to economics, have added sunglasses to their list of grievances.

When Ray-Ban owner Luxottica and French prescription lens-maker Essilor completed a $53 billion merger last October, the deal seemed to clear the way for the Italian company’s 83-year-old founder Leonardo Del Vecchio to hand over management duties and start transferring his $20 billion fortune to heirs.