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View Full Version : Blackstone in talks to sell stake in Leica, Zeiss is “potentially interested” Read m


danielsterno
08-02-2017, 09:55
FYI: Interesting quote : Zeiss is potentially interested in Leica Camera, but would only agree to a deal if it was able to secure a majority stake, the sources said.

Read more: https://leicarumors.com/2017/08/02/blackstone-in-talks-to-sell-stake-in-leica-zeiss-is-potentially-interested.aspx/#ixzz4ocMaK5Tl

https://leicarumors.com/2017/08/02/blackstone-in-talks-to-sell-stake-in-leica-zeiss-is-potentially-interested.aspx/

Huss
08-02-2017, 10:15
How freakin' great would this be? Why? Can we say a reskinned digital M sold as a Zeiss Ikon ZM digital. For 1/2 the price.
Or even a CCD Zeiss Ikon...

Ko.Fe.
08-02-2017, 10:22
I think, Zeiss is more interested in non photography parts from Leica.

If it ever happens, I will sell my film Leica cameras ASAP. Not Zeiss, nor any company which makes their lenses are film supporters anymore. With Zeiss most likely film Leica cameras production will be seized on the next day after take over and same will happen with service, parts later.

raid
08-02-2017, 11:00
On the other hand, Leica film cameras can be fixed by many repair people. Such camera can outlive us all.

f16sunshine
08-02-2017, 11:05
How freakin' great would this be? Why? Can we say a reskinned digital M sold as a Zeiss Ikon ZM digital. For 1/2 the price.
Or even a CCD Zeiss Ikon...

That would be cool.
Just as good would be a Leica product that does not need to be "beta tested" by early adopters. :o

rfaspen
08-02-2017, 11:15
Well now. Just because Zeiss becomes a major holder of Leica doesn't mean Leica ceases to exist as "Leica". I can see potential for both good and bad repercussions, but it wouldn't be some immediate change in product philosophy.

I like to remember that Zeiss, like Leica, has had a long history with photographers, for photographers. Of course, Zeiss, like Leica, has diversified into plenty of non-photography endeavors. Not sure if that means anything for anything :)

It could be an opportunity for increased support for us non-luxury photographers. That would be a welcome shift. Certainly, it could be an opportunity for better customer service! Think about the M9 sensor fiasco....which ended up screwing me. I couldn't get my camera shipped to NJ in time for the Aug 1 deadline....thus no "goodwill" sensor evaluation or replacement for me. I'm pretty unhappy with how I got screwed with this camera. I can only hope this sensor corrosion stuff doesn't happen to my M9 for years -- yeah...what luck would that be?

OK. Rant mode off.

Robert Lai
08-02-2017, 11:21
Zeiss did have Cosina make the Ikon, so they had an abiding interest in film photography. I'm sure they still miss not having their Contax line (maybe not financially, but emotionally).

It would be weird if Leica was partly owned by an Asian company. After all, for much of its storied history, it was owned by the Leitz family. How quintessentially German.

It would be like Jaguar being owned by Tata Motors.
Volvo being owned by Zhejiang Geely.
No doubt the products are still fine, but the heritage is different.

sojournerphoto
08-02-2017, 12:27
I've rung Zeiss and wound up talks g with the engineers, in English. They gave me an excellent impression - interested and enthusiastic, as well as obviously knowing what their doing. Given Zeiss is a foundation or trust, they could be a good long term part owner and partner for Leica.

roscoetuff
08-02-2017, 12:53
Sojournerphoto: My conversations exactly! I've been a Zeiss fan for some time. Zeiss has been very helpful. Though I have 2 Leica M's (Film), I prefer Zeiss glass. Zeiss still has a very strong commitment to photography... their Loxia line of lenses for Sony A7RII's are fantastic primes. I'm a guy who prefers cameras that Zeiss has made lenses for... though I've resisted the siren call of the Hasselblads and Rolleis.

More broadly, I'd imagine that if Zeiss bought Leica, it'd be like Ricoh's purchase of Pentax and the line would continue. Best outcome would be if Zeiss would rationalize Leica's PRESITGE marketing... by which I mean ELIMINATE it. Red cameras and lenses? Really? Who buys that stuff? Seriously... more REAL photographers have wanted to quit Leica over exactly that sort of Looney Tunes. Zeiss? Seems less snobby, less collectible and just more workman-like and focused on? what? Photography. Oh that?! Yeah.

YouAreHere
08-02-2017, 13:35
Link to full article by Reuters:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blackstone-leica-camera-sale-idUSKBN1AI22V

Blackstone owns 45% of Leica and ACM (aka "the Kaufmann family") owns 55%.

Zeiss can't own a majority stake unless ACM sells at least 6% of theirs. How likely is that?

splitimageview
08-02-2017, 13:55
If it ever happens, I will sell my film Leica cameras ASAP.

LOL

How likely is that?

Depends on the price. :)

jsrockit
08-02-2017, 14:27
If it ever happens, I will sell my film Leica cameras ASAP. Not Zeiss, nor any company which makes their lenses are film supporters anymore. With Zeiss most likely film Leica cameras production will be seized on the next day after take over and same will happen with service, parts later.

How does this affect your 50 year old film camera though?

(Oops, forgot you have digital Leica's too)

Mackinaw
08-02-2017, 14:28
.....Blackstone owns 45% of Leica and ACM (aka "the Kaufmann family") owns 55%.

Zeiss can't own a majority stake unless ACM sells at least 6% of theirs. How likely is that?

Probably not very likely. I just can’t see the Kauffman family giving Zeiss a controlling interest in Leica.

Jim B.

CMur12
08-02-2017, 14:46
I've read that Leica and Zeiss have different optical performance philosophies and goals. My fear would be that one taking over the other would result in those two philosophies being reduced to one. Since it appears unlikely that Zeiss could obtain a controlling interest in Leica, the risk of this happening appears low.

I'm not a Leica owner/user, but I'm glad to see that this old company is able to soldier on, producing unique, very high quality products.

- Murray

Ko.Fe.
08-02-2017, 14:59
How does this affect your 50 year old film camera though?

(Oops, forgot you have digital Leica's too)

Thank you for asking. I think, you and Raid needs some update on current situation with Leica film cameras.

It is wrong to think what 50 years old Leica camera will lasts foreva.
Just read Leica M2 repair manual, once. It is available online. The word "replace" is very common course of action to fix the problem. And Leica film cameras where always in repair with replacement parts. And it is still the case for someone like me. Who doesn't own twenty film cameras, makes some theoretical statements on Leica build like tank and could barely squeeze half-a-roll on odd weekend.

Yes, I own digital M, but I use two film M most.

I have one and half old Leica capable technicians locally left. Two at the close age in USA and one not so old, but who sends to one of the older one if it is complicated. Due to this, last thing I need is Leica to be sold to company with outsourced production and seized manufacturing of film cameras.

But you never know. Made in China parts and exact copies might be better than made in Japan improvised Leica copies in fifties. And I would not mind to send film Leica to China for less expensive service and parts at all.

Ko.Fe.
08-02-2017, 14:59
Oops, it posted it twice...

jsrockit
08-02-2017, 15:05
Thank you for asking. I think, you and Raid needs some update on current situation with Leica film cameras.

It is wrong to think what 50 years old Leica camera will lasts foreva.
Just read Leica M2 repair manual, once. It is available online. The word "replace" is very common course of action to fix the problem. And Leica film cameras where always in repair with replacement parts. And it is still the case for someone like me. Who doesn't own twenty film cameras, makes some theoretical statements on Leica build like tank and could barely squeeze half-a-roll on odd weekend.

Yes, I own digital M, but I use two film M most.

I have one and half old Leica capable technicians locally left. Two at the close age in USA and one not so old, but who sends to one of the older one if it is complicated. Due to this, last thing I need is Leica to be sold to company with outsourced production and seized manufacturing of film cameras.

But you never know. Made in China parts and exact copies might be better than made in Japan improvised Leica copies in fifties. And I would not mind to send film Leica to China for less expensive service and parts at all.

Thank you for adding perspective to your comment. I was under the impression that Leica wasn't providing parts for their older cameras anyway. I guess that's why I was confused. I will admit to not really knowing.

ChrisPlatt
08-02-2017, 15:13
No one likes uncertainty, but it would be better they be owned by an optical firm -
even a former competitor - than by a buyout company, don't you think?

Chris

rscheffler
08-02-2017, 15:16
I've read that Leica and Zeiss have different optical performance philosophies and goals. My fear would be that one taking over the other would result in those two philosophies being reduced to one. Since it appears unlikely that Zeiss could obtain a controlling interest in Leica, the risk of this happening appears low.

I'm not a Leica owner/user, but I'm glad to see that this old company is able to soldier on, producing unique, very high quality products.

- Murray

Generally the feeling is Leica strives for compact optics with the absolute minimum number of elements, etc. while Zeiss produces larger lenses in more 'relaxed' optical formulas. This might be more true for the M series, but if you look at Leica's SL (and S) lenses they're pretty much 'Otus-like' in size already. For example the SL 50 Lux. So if this ever happens, we'll see Otus and Milvus lenses in M mount? :D

As for all the special edition Leica 'crap' that seems to annoy so many 'real' and 'serious' photographers: where's the harm? At its core Leica produces top quality optics and pretty good electronics that address a range of serious, specialized photographic interests. All the special edition stuff is additional and of mostly already existing products. If it was all Hasselblad Lunar-like at the cost of their core competency, then I would be worried. Really, it's just chasing a particular market segment willing to spend a lot of money for superficial product 'enhancements.' If it keeps the company in business and producing core product that continues to interest me, I'm all for it, even if it is at times cringe-worthy.

Mackinaw
08-02-2017, 15:55
Thank you for asking. I think, you and Raid needs some update on current situation with Leica film cameras.

It is wrong to think what 50 years old Leica camera will lasts foreva.
Just read Leica M2 repair manual, once. It is available online. The word "replace" is very common course of action to fix the problem. And Leica film cameras where always in repair with replacement parts. And it is still the case for someone like me. Who doesn't own twenty film cameras, makes some theoretical statements on Leica build like tank and could barely squeeze half-a-roll on odd weekend.

Yes, I own digital M, but I use two film M most.

I have one and half old Leica capable technicians locally left. Two at the close age in USA and one not so old, but who sends to one of the older one if it is complicated. Due to this, last thing I need is Leica to be sold to company with outsourced production and seized manufacturing of film cameras.

But you never know. Made in China parts and exact copies might be better than made in Japan improvised Leica copies in fifties. And I would not mind to send film Leica to China for less expensive service and parts at all.

When I bought my MP back in 2004, they gave me a fancy brochure. A quote from the section on "Enduring," "......we do guarantee that services and spare parts will be available at Leica customer service departments for at least 30 years after a possible model change."

Jim B.

fireblade
08-02-2017, 16:02
So Blackstone have realised that they cannot persuade Kaufmann toward their business model. The 2016/17 financials are about to be released. It will be interesting to see if Leica hit the 500 million Euro figure they wanted.

michaelwj
08-02-2017, 17:18
I think, Zeiss is more interested in non photography parts from Leica.

If it ever happens, I will sell my film Leica cameras ASAP. Not Zeiss, nor any company which makes their lenses are film supporters anymore. With Zeiss most likely film Leica cameras production will be seized on the next day after take over and same will happen with service, parts later.

Zeiss would be interested in the microscope business of Leica, but that is a completely separate company (Leica Microsystems) to the camera company (Leica Camera) and also the surveying equipment (Leica Geosystems). Blackstone and the Kauffmans, only own Leica Camera, and although the three companies were at one time the same company, now they only share a common name and history. They are totally unrelated.

So what would Zeiss want with Leica Camera?
I think they would love to bring out a range of Leica SLR lenses at a higher price than the Zeiss SLR lenses and in a smaller package. The M cameras would continue to get made else there would be no M lenses to sell. Zeiss are a lens company who made an M mount camera to help sell their M mount lenses.

Out of all the potential buyers, Huawei seems like the logical choice, especially given Dr Kauffmans recent talk of a Leica phone.

rscheffler
08-02-2017, 22:44
Well now. Just because Zeiss becomes a major holder of Leica doesn't mean Leica ceases to exist as "Leica". I can see potential for both good and bad repercussions, but it wouldn't be some immediate change in product philosophy.

I like to remember that Zeiss, like Leica, has had a long history with photographers, for photographers. Of course, Zeiss, like Leica, has diversified into plenty of non-photography endeavors. Not sure if that means anything for anything :)

It could be an opportunity for increased support for us non-luxury photographers. That would be a welcome shift. Certainly, it could be an opportunity for better customer service! Think about the M9 sensor fiasco....which ended up screwing me. I couldn't get my camera shipped to NJ in time for the Aug 1 deadline....thus no "goodwill" sensor evaluation or replacement for me. I'm pretty unhappy with how I got screwed with this camera. I can only hope this sensor corrosion stuff doesn't happen to my M9 for years -- yeah...what luck would that be?

OK. Rant mode off.

Does Leica NJ have a different deadline than Leica AG? In the statement from Leica AG the deadline is August 15th.

This is the email I received from them May 15th:

Latest information concerning the CCD sensors of the Leica M9 / M9-P / M Monochrom and M-E camera models
Following the successfully begun and largely completed replacement programme for corroded sensors that affected M9, M9-P, M Monochrom and M-E camera models, we would now like to inform you about how this programme will be handled in the future.

Until 15 August 2017, we will continue to offer free replacement of sensors for these camera models if they are affected by the corrosion problem. This will also apply after 16 August 2017 for the models listed above, but only in cases where the cameras have been purchased as new products within the last five years.

From 16 August 2017, and until further notice, we will offer our customers the following new programme for all camera models mentioned above that were purchased longer than five years ago. Here, the customer pays a share of the replacement costs for the affected CCD sensor amounting to 982 euros (825 euros plus 19% VAT). Included in this programme is a free general overhaul* of your Leica M camera and a one year warranty on the same terms as for new products. This offer expresses our commitment to conserving the value of your camera.

We have also revised our upgrade offers with more attractive terms for our customers. Instead of a sensor replacement, we offer our customers the alternative option of sending us their camera affected by sensor corrosion in part payment for the purchase of selected Leica M camera models of the Type 240 generation at even more attractive terms. Leica Customer Care will be pleased to inform and advise interested customers about the terms and conditions of the upgraded offer.

With regard to the above, we would like to remind you that the replacement of CCD sensors and the upgrade offers apply only to cameras affected by this concrete problem, and only to the models of the Leica M-System we have listed above. Preventive replacement of sensors is not included in this programme.

willie_901
08-03-2017, 06:09
...Or even a CCD Zeiss Ikon...


The demand from 0.0004% of the new camera market would be overwhelming.

Lss
08-03-2017, 08:37
Think about the M9 sensor fiasco....which ended up screwing me. I couldn't get my camera shipped to NJ in time for the Aug 1 deadline....thus no "goodwill" sensor evaluation or replacement for me. I'm pretty unhappy with how I got screwed with this camera.
The deadline is August 15. Take a test shot, review it yourself, and in case you see issues send the file or a screenshot of a problem area to Leica service. They may confirm the corrosion via email, too.

jaapv
08-05-2017, 16:34
How freakin' great would this be? Why? Can we say a reskinned digital M sold as a Zeiss Ikon ZM digital. For 1/2 the price.
Or even a CCD Zeiss Ikon...I've been reading this fantasy on the Internet since the M8 came out...:rolleyes: