WSJ: the Blackstone-Leica deal valued at €130 million ($179 million)

According to the WSJ, Leica Camera sold 44% of the company to Blackstone for €130 million ($179 million):

"Though the price wasn't disclosed, the deal is valued at roughly €130 million ($179 million), according to a person close to the matter."

In 2004 Dr. Kaufmann, bought 95% of the company for approximately €60 million ($82 million):

"Mr. Kaufmann, a German aristocrat who lives in Austria, bought into the company in 2004 and increased his stake shortly thereafter to more than 95%, with an investment exceeding €60 million, according to people close to him."

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  • http://www.istockphoto.com/huntedduck David

    Wow good for him, great returns. I am sure first thing on BX’s agenda is to reconcile the high demand/low inventory and/or the MSPR/after market price. So I would predict wider availability of the Leica products OR higher prices. BX does not stand around inefficient market an do nothing about it.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/aminsf/ AM*shoots*SF

    Two words: Cha-Ching!

    who says you can’t make money these days….

  • Nobody Special

    Yep, he cleaned up real good on that deal. Time will tell what they decide to do – remember, Blackstone owns 44%, not a majority. But it’s an interesting deal for them -perhaps it’s just a few rich boys joining in on the deal – what’s $50ML or so to a Billionaire?

    As usual with Leica – they have us all speculating on what will happen with product – only this time Kauffman has some really shrewd company that, as you say, won’t sit around and wait for them to do something – they’ll start pushing early on for a return – more than likely. Lets face it, Leica will have to speed things up, and new facility or not – it’s not something they’ve shown in the past that are able to do – then there is the question of what kind of ‘new’ product will they have?

  • John Richardson

    Well, someone gets a discount on M9′s.

  • Nico

    It’s time to make a M9-P “Blackstone” special edition !!! :-)

  • Wolf Noleppa

    He might get the money for the future investment in new products such as new lenses for the S2 , R9 replacement etc. They have to expant if they want survive.

  • Stephen B

    Looking at their annual report their return on equity for this year is about 54% which is stellar (bear in mind that 20% is good for most companies). Also, net income is up 1100% (yes, that is one thousand, one hundred percent). Looking at those figures it is no wonder a private equity house got interested. If they can continue to make that sort of return on equity they don’t need to do much more for Blackstone to be more than happy. Yes, it is nice to keep growing but there is nothing wrong with a business that just moves along producing these sorts of profits (obviously you won’t see similar net income growth next year but as long as the return on equity stays high (>25%) then it will keep doing well. I would not be surprised if they just keep things as they are and keep making money. Blackstone will be pretty happy with that.

  • Greko

    Only if Leica used that money to design a real camera. A digital M without all the nasty faults and quirks.

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