Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2001/04/01[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]
Press Release - for Immediate publication The President of Cosina Co. Ltd., Hirofumi KOBAYASHI and the Chairman of Leica Camera AG$B!G(Bs Management Board, Hanns-Peter COHN, jointly announced the acquisition of all of Leica Camera AG's shares and assets by Cosina Co. Ltd. The aquisition was completed on March 31, 2001, and the offer of 15.00 Euro per share exceeded the price of 12.50 Euro at which Hermes acquired 30% of the share capital of Leica Camera AG, in December, 2000. Leica Camera AG$B!G(Bs 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 century. 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 community." 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 worldwide. Leica Camera AG, which originally comes from Optische Werke Ernst Leitz$B!G(Bs 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.