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Discussion in 'Industry News' started by cmo, Oct 20, 2011.
Blackstone smells cash, that's all. Leica is a well run company, making great products and the right decisions..so far anyway. Maybe they will ramp up production of lenses just a little bit to eliminate some of the supply/demand issues.
I think one of their only stated goals was to help expand the brand in the Asia-Pacific region - one would think they surely know Leica there already...?
They undoubtedly do, and that is no doubt part of the logic behind what could prove a good investment. There's a vast amount of new money about in China and other Asian countries, together with a desire for Western consumer products, particularly top-end brands.
Seems a sound proposal from both sides, and nothing more than a normal business decision.
I don't ascribe to "The sky is falling" prophets, financial or otherwise, but I'll look at just about anything somebody says about money. Here's one guy (not an endorsement here, at all, but he links to data) that's not so hot on China:
"Making money in the stock market is easy. Buy some stock and when it goes up sell it. If it doesn't go up don't buy it."
I wasn't intending to enter into a discussion of the reasons for, or ethics of, increased demand and consumption in the Far East, but current data shows that there is are substantial and growing exports of expensive Western luxury and brand-name products to places like China and Russia. And the name "Leica" fits both these catagories very nicely.
Take a gander at the threads on RFF and the Leica forum (L-forum) for a lot more on this.
Sounds like the death of the M line and the S line will be stripped down to compete with the Canon and Nikons, or the S may survive to compete with the Hassy and Mamiyas; as it does now. But I think there is much more $$$ to put out a D3X competition in the same price point. Investors want returns ASAP. Makes me ill to think about a micro four thirds becoming the new M camera.
I'm a lover of Leicas but also know it struggles a bit from time to time and would not sell 44% if it were cash flushed and running well.
Hopefully my doom and gloom attitude is completely wrong, and Leica stays elite and continues to make superior equipment.
Don't worry, in a few months they'll have a passing conversation with a savvy investor who'll show them some 4x5 chromes he produced with his rickety Tech III. They'll immediatley realize they've overpaid and underperformed. Isn't that what owning a Leica is all about? ;J Sorry Leicaphiles, I couldn't resist.
Well, as you know, it's never about the camera but the photographer. Having said that, the guy with a Leica and some nice Leica glass will always take better pictures simply because he's much more likely to have his camera with him when something good happens. 4x5 chromes...yeah, I bet plenty of great, fleeting moments are caught on those. Sorry, I couldn't resist
Aaaah, but those impromptu portraits of the local glaciers just can't be beat. .
In all honesty, i'm just happy to see someone putting money into a classic brand that's so historically rooted in film photography. All the more so in the backdrop of the death throes of Kodak as we know it.