'No comment' is the official reply for the moment, but according to rumors in the marketplace, Luxottica is the mysterious buyer who's prepared to make a 320 million dollar takeover bid (19.65 dollars per share) for the Cole National group.
Following the announcement, shares in the company soared last night by 70% with record volumes. Making the operators think that the Agordo-based group is behind it are the recent statements made by Leonardo Del Vecchio about his intention to increase market share (currently at 15%) in the US.
Cole National has a 6.5% share, 2,181 stores in the United States and Canada, and the Things Remembered chain with over 754 outlets operating in the giftware sector. It also controls 21% of the Pearle Europe chain of stores (1,468 outlets in 13 countries, including the 35 of the Avanzi chain in Italy).
Cole management resigned last night after setting a commission of independent experts the task of evaluating the offer and engaging Lehman Brothers as advisors.