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Thread: Panasonic buying Leica

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Panasonic buying Leica

    A serious banker (?) affirming Panasonic to be in talks to buy Leica from Mr. Kaufmann?
    Panasonic buying Leica?: Panasonic Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    can i put my order in for the crocodile skin gold plated limited edition G1 now ? :-)

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinparis View Post
    can i put my order in for the crocodile skin gold plated limited edition G1 now ? :-)
    Perhaps for the R10 before even the last R aficionado switches to Canon or Nikon
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Market cap of Panasonic - around 25 billion
    Market cap of Leica - 50 million

    even with their troubles buying leica wouldn't exactly put a strain on their wallet

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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by petermcwerner View Post
    A serious banker (?) affirming Panasonic to be in talks to buy Leica from Mr. Kaufmann?
    Panasonic buying Leica?: Panasonic Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
    Sounds like Chinese (Japanese) whispers to me.

    Just this guy you know

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Agreeing that we are only speculating, since rumors are often just hot air...
    If such talks were happening, then it might be interesting to estimate who is the originating party.
    I kind of doubt that it was Panasonic, their association so far is a marketing play, but if it was Leica, then it would be to stop the blood loss on the Kaufmann family fortunes.
    If the second alternative is true, then the probably of an R10 is very close to zero.
    I imagine that the G1 revenue stream alone may indeed exceed Leica's total revenues. I am bumping into the damn things everywhere.
    Most businessmen in their right minds do not throw good money after bad, especially under the current conditions.
    -bob

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    If the second alternative is true, then the probably of an R10 is very close to zero.
    Panasonic might be able to offer an R10 much faster and with less strain than Leica and it is a potentially lucrative market segment that is missing in their current product line. With the Leica name and lenses they might have better credibility against Canon and Nikon.
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Panasonic has no presence in this segment.
    Investing in the marketing to create that presence would need more money than Leica's market cap. The "goodwill" the the Leica brand in that segment is pretty low. I remember when Montblanc used to make good pens. Leica is sliding down the same slope, and it is very orthogonal to the Japanese business mind.
    A missing segment is often a good thing, since it allows the company to concentrate at applying its core strengths to a segment where there are receptive customers.
    I revise my estimate... p~=0 (at least as far as the R is concerned)
    -bob

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    My experience with German companies is that they don't like to sell outside of Germany. However these are extraordinary times so maybe. More likely a stronger partnership of some kind is being discussed. Possibly the video market? The new digital frontier.
    Last edited by mwalker; 11th February 2009 at 08:11.
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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    My experience with German companies is that they don't like to sell outside of Germany. However these are extraordinary times so maybe. More likely a stronger partnership of some kind is being discussed. Possibly the video market? The new digital frontier.
    A stronger partnership is a long way from Panasonic buying Leica... but I can see the sense for Panasonic to buy the red dot.

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Senior Member peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Buy on the rumor. Sell on the news.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Senior Member petermcwerner's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    A stronger partnership is a long way from Panasonic buying Leica... but I can see the sense for Panasonic to buy the red dot.
    As far as I know, the Leica brand does not belong to Leica Camera AG, but to either the Leica Geosystems and Leica Microsystems company, they are not the same company. The camera company only has the right to use the brand, but cannot sell it. Without knowing the underlying agreements, it would look that to use the Leica brand, one would have to acquire the company, but that is just my uninformed opinion.
    Peter Werner
    Leica M8, R9+DMR & Digilux 2; Nikon D700; Panasonic FX01, FX150 & G1; Samsung TL350 (WB 2000)

  13. #13
    kiloran
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Makes an awful lot of sense. Panasonic are slowly building a reputation for innovation and quality, and the ability to slap a red dot on a MFT body would help that new format. Leica know how to build compact very high quality optics (in fact I would say that that's all they know) and that's exactly what MFT demands.

    Of course there is previous here as well with Kyocera buying Contax, the last time Zeiss died, Rollei in the 70s, etc. etc. Japan has a record of buying German brands to overcome that "useless japanese rubbish" that was so often said about their products 30/40 years ago. Panasonic need the cachet to stop people seeing them as just a consumer electronics company, there is a market for them to carve out and exploit.

  14. #14
    vanhulsenbeek
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Quote Originally Posted by kiloran View Post

    Of course there is previous here as well with Kyocera buying Contax........
    No happy ending there

  15. #15
    kiloran
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    Re: Panasonic buying Leica

    Unfortunately not, no. And I do like the fact that production in Japan is now more expensive than it is in Germany, and that (for example) Nikon shooters see "Made in Japan" as a mark of quality because so many of the consumer bodies and lenses are made in Thailand these days. Buying Leica is still a great fit for Panasonic though.

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