CHARENTON-LE-PONT, France, and MILAN, Italy—The planned merger of Essilor and Luxottica is taking a bit longer than expected. Despite earlier predictions by Essilor and Luxottica officials that the deal would close in the first half of 2018, the companies said in a joint announcement Friday that they are extending the deadline of both the combination agreement and contribution agreement signed between Essilor and Delfin, Luxottica’s majority shareholder, to July 31, 2018. Financial analysts have estimated the value of the combined company to be between $55 billion and $58 billion.

As of Friday, the Chinese competition authority had not yet approved the planned merger of Essilor and Luxottica, which must occur in order to close the deal. In the statement, Essilor and Luxottica said they “remain confident that they will succeed in completing the antitrust processes in China and Turkey in the coming weeks.”

The first general meeting of EssilorLuxottica shareholders which was scheduled for July 25, 2018, as reported in VMAIL, will be reconvened by the EssilorLuxottica’s board of directors for a later date to be announced as soon as possible, the companies said.