Essilor’s proposed £40bn merger with Luxottica is a step closer to being completed after the deal was cleared by US regulators and the European Commission (EC).

The optics giants announced plans for one of Europe’s largest cross-border partnerships back in January 2017, but the merger’s arrival has been delayed by the need to obtain a number of antitrust approvals.

News that the companies have been cleared by European and American regulatory boards without conditions meant that the finalisation of the proposed combination was expected to be realised in ‘the first part of 2018’. The transaction has now been unconditionally approved in 15 countries.