Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/01

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Subject: [Leica] Cosina acquires Leica!!!
From: "Ken Iisaka" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 17:03:20 -0700

Press Release - for Immediate publication

The President of Cosina Co. Ltd., Hirofumi KOBAYASHI and the Chairman of
Leica Camera AG’s Management Board, Hanns-Peter COHN, jointly announced the
acquisition of all of Leica Camera AG's shares and assets by Cosina Co. Ltd.
The aquisition was completed on March 31, 2001, and the offer of 15.00 Euro
per share exceeded the price of 12.50 Euro at which Hermes acquired 30% of
the share capital of Leica Camera AG, in December, 2000.

Leica Camera AG’s Management Board declares it is a mutually beneficial
relationship in which Leica Camera, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Cosina
Co. Ltd. would have access to the capital and manufacturing capability of
Cosina Co. Ltd., and Cosina Co. Ltd., now has access to the rights to use
the name, Leica, for photographic equipment.

Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Cohn said, in a joint statement, "The union of two
companies signifies the cooperation of different worlds, and will forge the
brand name, "Leica", as the leader of photographic equipment into the 21st

Effective immediately, Cosina's line of cameras and lenses compatible with
Leica will be renamed as "Leica-C" and the current name, Voigtlander will be
dropped.  Mr. Kobayashi said in a statement, "The use of the brand name
Voigtlander was admittedly controversial.  With the acquisition of Leica
Camera AG, we can put history behind us, and offer Cosina products as
entry-level Leica products, under the Leica brand name."

In response, Mr. Cohn said in a statement, "The reintroduction of Cosina
products as entry-level Leica products fill the product line in which
products offer tremendous quality competitive with other Japanese products,
while the current Leica product line will remain as the pinnacle of
photographic technology.  The owners of the Leica-C equipment can always
upgrade to the Leica line of products without a significant reinvestment."

Together, Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Cohn jointly announced new products bearing
the name, "Leica-C" as follows:

     R2001 reflex camera body
     Vario-Elmarit 1:2.5/28-70mm lens for reflex cameras.
     Vario-Elmarit 1:2.8/14-28mm lens for reflex cameras.
     Naganon 1:8/10mm rectilinear ultra wide angle lens for Leica
screwmount, bayonet mount cameras.

Mr. Cohn said, "These are products that Leica Camera AG tried to deliver,
but was unable to within its capabilities.  With the manufacturing
facilities of Cosina, we are now able to provide new Leica products without
straining the production capabilities in Portugal and Solms.  It's a win-win
situation for Cosina and Leica, and the real winner is the Leica user

In addition, to commemorate the acquisition of Leica Camera AG by Cosina Co.
Ltd, Mr. Kobayashi and Mr. Cohn jointly announced a new commemorative model
of the rangefinder camera, M6.  The body is pained in the colour of cherry
blossoms, now in full bloom in Nagano, and the inscription, "Leica" on the
top place was replaced by the name, "Cosina."  The production is limited to
2001, and will be available through authorised Leica and Cosina dealers

Leica Camera AG, which originally comes from Optische Werke Ernst Leitz’s
photo division founded in 1849, is specialised in very high quality optics
and cameras. It is famous world-wide, in particular thanks to its legendary
Leica M6 camera and its high precision binoculars.

Cosina Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of optical instruments traces its
origin to Nikoh Co., founded in 1959 as a lens manufacturer.  It has since
developed into a manufacturer of an extensive line of optical instruments,
from photographic lenses and LCD projector optics.

Nagano, Japan, April 1, 2001

- -----
Ken Iisaka <first name at last name dot org>
Still lost in Mill Valley, Marin County, CA.

Replies: Reply from Henning Wulff <> (Re: [Leica] Cosina acquires Leica!!!)
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