True enough. Although I will say, one announcement which would give me the heebie-jeebies far more would be that Harman were going public.
Originally Posted by aldevo
The stock exchange can be a strange mistress which while enabling access to capital, and ensuring transparency, often values rather odd goals - as often as not the market will prefer a company losing money on growing revenues to one making a healthy profit on flat or falling revenues.
A business such as traditional film and paper - which, with the best will in the world, is likely to continue to decline for some time until it hopefully reaches a stable point - is one ill suited to the vagaries of the stock markets; a cheerful canter for 'diversification' just to prove to the markets that revenues will grow, at the expense of the profitable core business, can be predicted (see, for example, Kodak, or Ilford pre-MBO.) It's that attitude which is at least partially responsible for the death of manufacturing in this country - it's not that we can't make these niche industries profitable, it's that getting investment for them is impossible. Fortunately as consumers we have Eastern Europe stepping into the gap these days, it seems.
Anyway, looking on the bright side - I think we can all take some pride in the fact that so far noone has used the word 'synergy'...
Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...
Harman acquires Kentmere
The news has started travelling through the dealer network that Harman Technology has taken over Kentmere, the deal having been already signed & sealed. Apparently there are no plans to change the range of products or branding of the Kentmere range. Maybe inevitable but a little sad that the last small independent manufacturer has to be swallowed (and in it's centenary year, I think).
In the spirit of the news, I've merged Martin Reed's new thread on this topic with the existing one.
Efke and Foma are still around. They are, AFAIK, both small (Efke is fewer than 30 people - can't get much smaller than that) and remain independent.
Originally Posted by Martin Reed
Digital Photography is just "why-tech" not "high tech"..
Putting things into perspective the turnover for Kentmere was stated to be £8 million per annum.
A newspaper report in the UK, 5th October, stated that Harman had approached Kentmere witha view to buying the company. Shaun Mulvaney, the managing director, of Kentmere stated "The approach is being given very serious and careful consideration by the company," and said. "If the sale were to proceed, it is likely to take place on or around October 12."
This is what has happened. Harman have only bought the Kentmere Photographic division of Kentmere Ltd. The article didn't state the turnover of the photo division.
So Kentmere Photohraphic is not very large but as a paper manufacturer has always punched above its size in the market place, has modern coating machinery and very able photo-chemists/technicians.
15-20 years ago they were OK but with a reputation for inconsistency between paper batches, then they employed a new emulsion chemist. At the time reading the job advert & specification it seemed to indicate the recruit would need to come from Ilford or Kodak.
The new emulsion chemist tightened up of quality, but more importantly introduced Kentmere's Variable Contrast papers as well as other new papers including Fineprint.
With Kodak, Agfa and Forte out of the B&W paper market there appears to be a lot of synergy and potential for a merged Harman Kentmere.
We need to watch things unfold but my guess is well actually see new or improved products coming out of the merged company. Two coating plants also makes sense with the potential demands of the Bergger tie-up.
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Sorry, I suppose I was thinking of the myriad of small British manufacturers that were taken over by Ilford prior to WW2 (I tried to detail this in an article a few years ago
Originally Posted by aldevo
Sorry also for starting a new thread when I hadn't spotted the already healthy one that was going. I'll get me coat.
Best of luck!!! But if you change Kentona or the Bromide you'll have to answer to me Shawn
I suppose there's good and bad in this - I am sad to see a small long-established business get taken over, but that's the times...I hope Kentmere do manage to retain their character.
Am concerned to hear about Ilford dropping Cooltone developer - have they?? That must have passed me by, I bought some just recently. Really bad news if so, and not so very encouraging either if they are going to drop excellent products that they consider too 'esoteric.' It's still on their website and also in stock on RK photographic and Firstcall sites...
I was always wondering about that 20 year lease too... Amongst other considerations, it looks like this gives Ilford options when that 20 years are up for at least avoiding being stiffed by the freeholders. They have moved their coating plant before, no doubt they can do it again if they have to.
Also it presumably allows them to downsize if they need to in future, though I obviously don't know how easily Kentmere's coating facilities are adaptable to coating film. Interesting is that Kentmere's management has shown good business sense in the past, being privately owned, and selling off to Ilford to me sounds like they are not confident they could continue in the long term and are selling up while they can get a reasonable price.
The other good thing is that it shows Ilford are looking forward and not just letting the grass grow under their feet, which is encouraging.
As for the potential downsides: well, we shall see, but I have no intention of changing my purchasing habits, which include both companies' products (not that I imagine for a second that my purchases register the smallest iota of a suspicion of a blip on either company's sales graphs)...
All is, in any case, conjecture.
P.S. Cate & others: yes: Cooltone developer is no more - Simon G. confirmed in another thread (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/4...-required.html).
Every customer matters, it always did and it always will...we report our daily sales down to the exact dollar...so your purchase does register..
Simon ILFORD Photo / HARMAN technology Limited :