The paranoid in me worries - I used Azo exclusively, then Forte Polywarmtone, and have now recently switched to Kentona. I hope I haven't killed off this wonderful paper, too.
Hmmm. Not sure about this, there are pros and cons both ways. Companies often say that there will be relatively few changes, but in the end there always are, particularly if hard times hit. Accounts and IT are rationalised along with marketing, sales, R&D, distribution, etc. That's a bl**dy big warehouse they've got at Mobberley which was less than half full on our visit in 2006.
I suppose only time will tell on this one.
Hopefully the larger resources of Harman will help Kentmere. Perhaps they can now buy the Forte Polywarmtone formula and equipment. I've just cracked open my last packet of Art Classic, so please sort out that one Harman.
In the end, I hope it works out well for both companies, employees and us customers.
Although it does start to look like a monopoly, at least in the medium-term I don't see this as a problem of looming price increases. Kentmere has always been priced lower than Ilford. Having them in-house sets up a pricing structure for Ilford/Harman - they can have a product they can market to students and the educational market now without undercutting their profits. It's a smart move for them. I'd also think they would keep some of the fringe products like Kentona because they add diversity to the product line, without any new R&D costs or major marketing push.
Well, all I can say is I'm glad that FotoImpex has resurrected Agfa MCP and MCC -because I've certainly bought my last box of Kentmere Fineprint...though I rather doubt Ilford will be offering it for very long, anyhow
The US Dollar is getting torn to pieces right now against the UK Pound, so any price increases will likely be even worse over here.
Anyhow, this does go to show one thing...
Nobody should feel they know ANYTHING about the relative health of any of these companies. We'd been told for the past few years that all was well at Kentmere with their new production facility, leaner staff, etc., and a very dedicated photo-enthusiast owner.
Well if all of the above were true, why did this deal get made?
As regards to Forte PWT at Kentmere - I don't think that will happen. Some of the former Forte R&D folks are at Foma trying to adapt Foma's own mutli-grade warmtone paper to behave more like PWT. Or, at least that's what member "Fotohuis" (who has deep Foma ties) has claimed.