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Harman Technology purchased by Pemberstone ventures LTD
Old 09-14-2015   #1
Lauffray
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Harman Technology purchased by Pemberstone ventures LTD

Press release here

http://www.ilfordphoto.com/pressroom/article.asp?n=211


I'm not speculating, I wonder what this means for consumers.
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Old 09-14-2015   #2
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This means good news as someone is willing to invest in the future of Analogue. Yipee.
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Old 09-14-2015   #3
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strange, I see it as bad news.
Ilford, as far as I know, was not in danger, and Permberstone is just a financing company.
Ilford was owned by the company making film, now its owned by a group of bankers.
sigh...
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Old 09-14-2015   #4
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Oh no.

Not a good sign at all, venture capitalists wanting to cash in on the "the resurgent Film market" ...
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Old 09-14-2015   #5
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Ugh, I'm scared.
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Old 09-14-2015   #6
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We need to know history of buyer before deciding.

If their bean counters start cutting the least profitable products year by year, soon there will be nothing left but high priced unaffordable film. Or like Kodak, they can raise the prices of bulk film to match that of packaged film.

Kodak cut and cut and cut until there was nothing left to support the rest of the product line. So it withers away .

The bean counters destroyed General Motors and they can do the same here.
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Old 09-14-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald M View Post
Kodak cut and cut and cut until there was nothing left to support the rest of the product line. So it withers away .
How on earth do you figure that???

Kodak offers some of the best film they have ever made. If you select "Roll Film" at B&H, it shows 33 for Ilford and 45 for Kodak, all in stock at average or even slightly below average prices too.

Given the typical piss poor attitude of the old guard, I find the following a refreshing and encouraging notion:

"Our new owners will assist us to connect more effectively to this younger generation in the future, and we will prioritise this as our main goal over the next five years"
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Old 09-14-2015   #8
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Some comments seem to echo what I had in mind, I don't want to be pessimistic given I know nothing about this company, but I didn't exactly read the news with enthusiasm.
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Old 09-14-2015   #9
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significant price hike will be in the cards.
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Old 09-14-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanskDynamit View Post
strange, I see it as bad news.
Ilford, as far as I know, was not in danger, and Permberstone is just a financing company.
Ilford was owned by the company making film, now its owned by a group of bankers.
sigh...
Ilford was owned by the management, as a buy out team.
Given the recent failure to rationalise the site they occupy, a housing development and re-location on site for Ilford, was rejected by the planning committee of the local council, there may be a requirement for a capital injection. Whilst I have every respect for the team at Ilford none of them, like us all, are getting younger, and an injection of capital and financial management expertise may allow some needed re-organisation of the production facility and access to and knowledge of capital markets.
The concern of course is that the current team have sold, no doubt at a profit, and how tight the ties are to continue with running the business remain undisclosed.
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Old 09-14-2015   #11
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I have no idea what it means. But I don't trust bean counters venturing into things they don't fully understand. That is, they may not see beyond addition and subtraction tables with most profit. Not other products that contribute.

But time will tell. Who knows, maybe they will be better owners after all.
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Old 09-14-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Bojic View Post
We've seen what blackstone has done to Leica: various irrelevant models, T, Q,"tip 246", "Tip this", "Tip that"... And a monstroussuper quick obsoleting cycle.

Time to pile up some films, I say.

At least I can choose not to buy something I find uninteresting, I just hope they won't start cutting a la Fuji. I get so much stock from them, not just film
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Old 09-14-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
I have no idea what it means. But I don't trust bean counters venturing into things they don't fully understand. That is, they may not see beyond addition and subtraction tables with most profit. Not other products that contribute.

But time will tell. Who knows, maybe they will be better owners after all.
Do bean counters understand ANYTHING except counting beans?

Answer: some do. I've not talked to the Ilford venture capitalists, but Kodak's accountants before the crash were a lot better informed than the travelling salesman Kodak management. At least this lot have the benefit of Ilford management expertise, which is very significant.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-14-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
At least this lot have the benefit of Ilford management expertise, which is very significant.

Cheers,

R.
Indeed, but they are the recipients of the buy out money, they owned Harman, hopefully contracts tie them in otherwise trouble looms.
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Old 09-14-2015   #15
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Wow, this thread needs a bit of balance.

Folks, a bunch of people with a lot of money SEES the potential of young people using more film.

This is a great news!

I say 'Go Ilford!' with a new wind on your sails!
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Old 09-14-2015   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
Wow, this thread needs a bit of balance.

Folks, a bunch of people with a lot of money SEES the potential of young people using more film.

This is a great news!

I say 'Go Ilford!' with a new wind on your sails!
They're investors, they see the potential for a good return on their investment. Interest in the market or the product is optional
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Old 09-14-2015   #17
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I'm hopeful for the best, but let's not kid ourselves about investment bankers -- they care solely about maximizing return...they have no care or expertise in reaching a 'younger generation' or new innovative ideas.

If they can be leashed enough to pay heed to Ilford's current management and their expertise, this could be good. Let's hope it's that and not what investment firms usually do.
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Old 09-14-2015   #18
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It will be interesting to watch. If they decide that these "crazy kids with their lomos" are not price sensitive to film prices, they will jack up the prices to maximize profit. If they stay pretty much to the current pricing for an extended period, it's a good sign.
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Old 09-14-2015   #19
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Apple had a fair amount of private investment when it started up... worked out OK for them. Not sure what planet people are living on... we live in a capitalist society. If you need investment you either borrow from a bank (not happening in the current climate) or sell shares in your company publicly or privately... Welcome to 1980.
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Old 09-14-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
Wow, this thread needs a bit of balance.

Folks, a bunch of people with a lot of money SEES the potential of young people using more film.

This is a great news!

I say 'Go Ilford!' with a new wind on your sails!
No.

They say they do. In the short term. Lauffray and Colin have it right.

I wish them every success, and will work to help them. But to see them as inevitably being photographic visionaries, instead of possibly being short-term financial gluttons, is naive. They may have friends who can sell on the Ilford site for housing. Have you ever been there? I have. It's big.

I'm happy to work on the assumption that they are REALLY ready to back B+W film, paper and chemicals. But as you say, this thread needs balance, not pie-in-the-sky dreaming.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-14-2015   #21
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"Our new owners will assist us to connect more effectively to this younger generation in the future, and we will prioritise this as our main goal over the next five years"

Since they are doing very well is this surprising?
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Old 09-14-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
They may have friends who can sell on the Ilford site for housing. Have you ever been there? I have. It's big.
The current (or now past) owners will have asked for more than the Ilford property value (or they could have disbanded with a higher personal profit here and now), so the immediate plan of the buyers must be to keep the company alive and profitable. But being owned by a VC investor might take a bad turn the next time film drops out of fashion - in a crisis they are doubtlessly more likely to pull their exit option of selling the site than the past manager-owners...
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Old 09-14-2015   #23
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The current (or now past) owners will have asked for more than the Ilford property value (or they could have disbanded with a higher personal profit here and now), so the immediate plan of the buyers must be to keep the company alive and profitable. But being owned by a VC investor might take a bad turn the next time film drops out of fashion - in a crisis they are doubtlessly more likely to pull their exit option of selling the site than the past manager-owners...
The key word was "friends". No, I don't think the new buyers are cheerfully able to corrupt the local authority, but alas the possibility exists. When you are dealing with people whose only interest is money, then their only interest is money. As I say, I assume the new owners are not like that. But equally, unlike the management buy-out team, their primary commitment is not necessarily to B+W photography.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-14-2015   #24
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It's a bust out. Everybody switch to Kodak, and let them watch their sales keel over and cough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
When you are dealing with people whose only interest is money, then their only interest is money. As I say, I assume the new owners are not like that.
That's a pretty slim possiblity, almost nonexistent..
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Old 09-14-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfox View Post
Wow, this thread needs a bit of balance.

Folks, a bunch of people with a lot of money SEES the potential of young people using more film.

This is a great news!

I say 'Go Ilford!' with a new wind on your sails!
This is like CBS buying Fender musical instruments in January of 1965.

Beat groups were big back then, so the sales of amps and electric guitars were a highly profitable venture.

Let us hope the quality of Ilford products stays the same.
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Old 09-14-2015   #26
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I have been shooting Foma and Adox and like their films so if there is a post Kodak and Ilford then it isn't the end of the world. But why can't these smaller companies make a decent 400iso film? I am just concerned over HP5+ mostly.
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Old 09-14-2015   #27
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Same load of garbage we heard when digital came along..."O NOOOOO.. FILM IS DEAD!!!!"

It would be nice if the dooms dayers would go away...

I said it then and I'll say it again.....film IS NOT dead....
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Old 09-14-2015   #28
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Same load of garbage we heard when digital came along..."O NOOOOO.. FILM IS DEAD!!!!"

It would be nice if the dooms dayers would go away...

I said it then and I'll say it again.....film IS NOT dead....
As a 100% film shooter these threads don't bother me because it is clear film is still widely available with ample choices. It is those persistent lies that X-ray exposure from carry on luggage ruins it and then say digital is the solution irks me to no end.
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Old 09-14-2015   #29
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Considering that all of this is utter speculation, I don't really see that much reason to get heated about it.


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Old 09-14-2015   #30
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Speaking of Ilford, this was just announced: ADOX acquires Ilford´s medium scale coating line (nice video too)

"In order to develop and produce a larger variety of analog products in the future ADOX has acquired Ilford´s 52cm medium scale coating machine in Marly, Switzerland in February 2015.

Having in house coating capabilities not only closes a gap and make ADOX a full analog factory- they also enable us to make all the products we ever dreamed of but never could due to high minimum coating volume restrictions."

The timing is however "pure coincidence" according to this APUG thread.
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Old 09-14-2015   #31
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Quote:
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The timing is however "pure coincidence" according to this APUG thread.
More than that - there is no causality at all between the two events. That is the OTHER Ilford, that is, the (now closed) Cibachrome colour paper makers from Switzerland.
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Old 09-14-2015   #32
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I refuse to panic about this news... Was printing a week ago on the new MGIV FB Classic. What excellent paper.
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Old 09-15-2015   #33
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Probably unrelated but...

http://www.adox.de/Photo/adox-acquir...-coating-line/

edited to add, -- whoops, I'm the idiot who didn't look a few posts up...
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Old 09-17-2015   #34
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This means good news as someone is willing to invest in the future of Analogue. Yipee.
Exactly.
1. Pemberstone is neither a bank nor a venture capital firm.
They are a private equity firm, and that is a big big difference. And if you look at in what companies they have invested, most are small, innovative companies in interesting markets.
Like Ilford, which is a profitable company, a market leader in BW, and in an again growing BW market (that are all saying, Kodak, Adox, Foma, the big distributors).
A perfect investment for a sustainable investor at the right time.
2. Only three persons have left Ilford, all others stay.
3. I trust the Ilford management that they have carefully looked for an investor who is really interested in strenghtening the business. The Ilford management are not idiots to give the company to someone who wants to ruin it.
4. The target to get more young people interested in film is right. And that has nothing to do at all with Lomography. Most young photographers have interest in normal photography.

So, be relaxed.
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Old 09-17-2015   #35
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"normal photography"
Now there is something to define...
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Old 09-18-2015   #36
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Exactly.
1. Pemberstone is neither a bank nor a venture capital firm.
They are a private equity firm, and that is a big big difference. And if you look at in what companies they have invested, most are small, innovative companies in interesting markets.
Like Ilford, which is a profitable company, a market leader in BW, and in an again growing BW market (that are all saying, Kodak, Adox, Foma, the big distributors).
A perfect investment for a sustainable investor at the right time.
2. Only three persons have left Ilford, all others stay.
3. I trust the Ilford management that they have carefully looked for an investor who is really interested in strenghtening the business. The Ilford management are not idiots to give the company to someone who wants to ruin it.
4. The target to get more young people interested in film is right. And that has nothing to do at all with Lomography. Most young photographers have interest in normal photography.

So, be relaxed.
+1.

And furthermore:
So far in the end Harman technology belonged to banks. When the management buy out took place in 2004 of course the managers had not enough private capital of their own, they had to borrow it from banks.
If something would have gone wrong, the creditors, the banks would have been the decisive factor.

Now instead of the banks a private equity company with experience in running small, innovative firms is in responsibility.
So in fact not so much has changed.
Again "much ado about nothing" here in the forum and in other forums.
Don't worry, just use the time better and go out shooting (with Ilford film, if you like it).

Cheers, Jan
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Old 09-18-2015   #37
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Quote:
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4. The target to get more young people interested in film is right. And that has nothing to do at all with Lomography. Most young photographers have interest in normal photography.

So, be relaxed.
Purely anecdotal, but encouraging nonetheless: In a camera store in Pontiac, Michigan last week to buy some chemicals, I witnessed something that used to be very common around this time of year. A teenager with her mother were buying the things she needed for her analog photography class (an SLR, lens, film, other items.) She was no trendy Lomographer -- she was very enthusiastic about learning how to shoot film. Made me feel good to see this, even though it was only one kid. Excited about B&W film at 16 is a good thing to see!
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