Ilford Imaging is illiquide

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by AgX, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The swiss company, that originated from the Tellko company before being merged with Ilford in Britain in the 60s survived the splitting of the two plants in 2004/2005 and took with them the Ilford name, is now out of money, can't even pay the salaries.
    Typically they had been engaged in colour silver-halide materials before they added ink-jet papers to their portfolio.
    The court has been informed.
    The situation seemed to be caused by the latest owner (2010) having ceased to fund Ilford any longer. It is not clear why the company is not dissolved regularly but let go into the current situation.

    Ilford is nevertheless looking for a new investor.


    http://angestellte.ch/newsroom/medienmitteilungen/showData/ilford-imaging-switzerland-geht-der-schnauf-aus
    (in German)


    Here is the press release from Ilford announcing the take over by their latest owner dating from 2010:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20100508185648/http://www.ilford.com/en/pdf/press/PRESS%20STATEMENT_EN.pdf

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2013
  2. mgifotografie

    mgifotografie Member

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    Bad news. What does this mean for the Ilford inkjet papers and films?
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    As long they still have papers and films in storage those would be sold as usual. Maybe production still goes on.
    In case the court starts an insolvency procedure those assets will of course get under control.
     
  4. Mike Crawford

    Mike Crawford Member

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    If true, very bad news for Swiss Ilford and of course their employees.

    However, do note that this company has been totally separated from UK Ilford, (trading as Harman) who make Ilford BW film, BW darkroom paper and chemicals for around 10 years. I expect Simon will want to clarify.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Mike, I referred to that splitting twice.

    By the way, the UK Company is called Harman. They just call their halide department Ilford Photo.
     
  6. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    That is absolutely correct, the UK company and the Swiss company are two totally separate businesses with different owners, who, by agreement some years use a similar trademark for totally different product ranges. Harman is, of course, owned by the directors/managers, which includes our good friend Simon.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    At all larger manufacturers there are rumours about their future. This is meanwhile kind of part of the business.

    Harman too have laid off many employees and have space to let.
     
  8. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Bad for the employees of course. But for our materials, how bad could it actually be? They don't make anything we analog photographers are interested in anymore anyway, with the possible exception of Ilfoflex mentioned in another thread as reversal processing very well but the problem with that seems to be very very limited availability.

    Might there be a tiny outside chance that a new owner or investor would lead to the re-introduction of Ilfochrome? Probably a miniscule chance if that, but one can hope.
     
  9. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    When the Swiss color division and the British monochrome division split, there was an agreement to allow sharing the Ilford marketing name to
    provide a sense of product continuity, along with a certain amt of website sharing. But otherwise these have been completely different
    enterprises for awhile now. The world of Inkjet supplies is already flooded with competition, and it would be difficult to compete with the international footprint of Fuji and Kodak in the RA4 paper category (plus Mitsubishi is a player in Asia). That left Ciba/Ilfochrome as their only
    truly unique category, which for some time had such miserable distribution issues, it was a dead man walking. They probably have some dye
    and patent holdings, but those are niches of little interest to us.
     
  10. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It's worth bearing in mind that Ilford/Harman bought Kentmere because they had some of the best specialist inkjet products and Harman produce some of the best high end inkjet papers now available.

    I liked and used the Ilford Inkjet papers but they disappearred from the shelves of the stores I use quite a time ago, as has the Fuji paper, but I don't do many inkjet prints these days, and any high end prints would be on the Harman FB papers now anyway.

    I think the Swiss company suffered because most digital users thought Ilford as a whole had gone bust and couldn't understand the difference between Ilfordphoto/Harman and the Swiss Ilford.

    Ian
     
  11. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    Phew! I thought things were REALLY bad with Harmon about to go under. I didnt realize that there was a second Ilford out there.
     
  12. Brac

    Brac Member

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    The Swiss company's website is www.ilford.com

    There is a lot of interesting information on there (in English) - they seem to make a lot of products including Ilfocolor micrographic film and various papers both inkjet and RA4 type. The latter and the film seem to be aimed at specialised business customers. There is also a history of the company and an explanation of how the Swiss company and Harman went in different directions some years back. Harman have a licence to use the Ilford trade mark for black & white photographic products. Thus any inkjet paper branded Ilford these days emanates from the Swiss company.

    The website says the holding company of the Swiss concern is Ilford Group AG. As recently as April of this year they acquired a German company called TECCO GmbH to (quote) "realise its strategic intent of offering leading-edge products, a broad, flexible portfolio and a customer focussed service". So the present situation seems rather strange. Let's hope the Swiss Ilford business can be saved in some form or other.
     
  13. DLawson

    DLawson Member

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    Thank you.
    That clears up a personal confusion.

    I'd caught some references to "Ilford" and "color" in the same sentences, and the website I normally look at did not show how it was possible. I knew Ilford was still otherwise around, but lost track of what their products were.
     
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  15. NB23

    NB23 Member

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    This whole "good Ilford"/"Bad Ilford"/"Inkjet paper but not Harman inkjet paper" is extremely confusing and it's very bad marketing.

    Why haven't they gone for a new name upfront? Wilford, Drofli, Ilfird, Elford, Ilfurd, whatever...
     
  16. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Well, I'm shooting ilford film, scanning it, and printing to ilford paper, it's just that my money's going to 2 different places. (The most confusing thing is when I go to the film website to get icc-paper profiles, or the paper website to get developing-time datasheets).
    Actually, I'm just in the testing phase of my inkjet printing, I'm leaning towards Moab as my go-to brand. So if Ilford inkjet paper is going down, I won't cry. Maybe I will only if Ilford (the one that makes PanF50 and Delta 3200) goes down.
     
  17. Simon R Galley

    Simon R Galley Subscriber

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    Dear All,

    As has been clearly explained in the above threads : ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH based in Marly, Switzerland is a completely seperate company from HARMAN technology Limited ( the makers of all branded ILFORD Monochrome film, paper and chemical products ).

    HARMAN technology limited was founded 8 years ago in Mobberley, England and is robustly profitable.

    Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :
     
  18. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Thank you, Sir, for confirming what most of us "APUGers" already knew! Now if only one of the rumourmongers at "photorumours.com" would be so kind as to pick up and spread the official word...:whistling:
     
  19. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Dear Simon - if you had simply produced Kentmere Fineprint and MGWT a couple centuries earlier, we would have been perfectly content over
    here and never have claimed independence to begin with ... just be forewarned that if you ever ever discontinue either of these wonderful
    products it will probably constitute grounds for a third world war!
     
  20. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Robustly profitable. I like hearing that.
     
  21. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Well, I certainly intend to help keep them fat and sassy, even if it makes me a little leaner this month!
     
  22. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The Ilford Imaging director stated that they had great hopes on a new product for agricultural use which is ready for production. However a change on the single-client side took place together with "trade issues".

    The judge gave Ilford time until mid-august to come up with a new investor, something Ilford considers up to year for.
     
  23. AgX

    AgX Member

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    management buy-out

    Theses days, the same time that the employees are still awaiting their july wages and were already told to seek new jobs, two managers of Ilford and a third party bought their plant from Paradigm Investers.

    Nevertheless the plant still has to face bancruptcy decision by court next week. The buy is depicted as a time winning means to enable further search for an investor. Without whom the succession of the plant will not be possible.

    Interesting is that the third partner is the owner of the property itself. This shows the complicated legal situation and the lack of assets at Ilford.
     
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  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    I guess after Oji sold it to them, the Investers didn't have the right Paradigm! :wink:
     
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  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Meanwhile

    -) the court decision has been postponed to mid of the month

    -) half of the employees are regarded as redundant and will have got the notice by now on the basis of a social programme

    -) new money is expected from selling part of the property for housing and from a new, japanese, investor

    -) the plant will be restructured (The morsels I got to know so far do not hint at halide film and paper though.)
     
  26. AgX

    AgX Member

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    no case of insolvency

    Yesterday the judge decided not to open/proceed a insolvency case. As the company seems sound enough to go on.