Blackstone has tasked Morgan Stanley with finding a buyer for its 45 percent stake in Leica Camera


New report from Reuters on Blackstone's attempt to sell their stake in Leica Camera:

Buyout group Blackstone (BX.N) has tasked Morgan Stanley (MS.N) with finding a buyer for its 45 percent stake in German iconic camera maker Leica, people close to the matter said on Monday.

While no auction has been officially launched, the private equity firm has started holding meetings with potential future investors such as family offices, the people added.

Leica is expected to report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of roughly 70 million euros ($84 million) this year. If valued in line with luxury groups it could fetch an enterprise value of 840-980 million euros ($1 to $1.17 billion).

Via Reuters

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  • eric

    i wonder if a US buyer will emerge or will it be from somewhere in Asia? the profitability of Leica looks pretty solid. Im surprised no smartphone company would see potential in backing the brand and gaining access to using Leica glass and knowledge.

  • My knowledge of hardware and electronics is limited, but my understanding is that smartphone camera frontiers are in minimization, computational photography and advanced sensors such as time of flight and production volumes are in the millions.

    I wouldn’t expect that Leica’s expertise in human-scale optics at low volumes applies as much as that of specialized suppliers, especially if the lens is not a competitive advantage and coatings / logos can be licensed.

    Are phone camera lenses pressed or ground?

    Perhaps a private investment fund? There needn’t be a strategic alignment if future growth is promising. Perhaps a luxury house would be interested?

    • Mistral75

      > Are phone camera lenses pressed or ground?

      They are made of plastic and injection-moulded.

  • What rhymes with scrapple and starts with an “A”

    • eric

      lol, i highly doubt it but would be cool.

    • This will be interesting. Apple has plenty of cash but Leica is already working with Huawei.

    • ZMWT

      Jony Ive working on other projects, Apple would send Marc Newson to work on new and improved Leica designs. Considering what he did to a Pentax camera when Ricoh hired him, I am afraid to think what would they do to Leica.

    • ZoetMB

      Apple is a mass market company even though some of their pricing puts them into “luxury” territory. It’s estimated that they’ll sell 120 million iPhone X units alone by the end of 2018. At list prices that’s $120 billion. For 2017, total net revenue will probably be around $240 billion. While some aspect of Leica’s design philosophy is consistent with Apple’s in terms of the quality of fit and finish, Apple is not interested in stand-alone cameras. Their photo efforts will continue to be improving the quality of the images made by iPhones. They wouldn’t be interested in owning less than half of Leica.

  • ZMWT

    Why not German Republic? Why should not own country buy stakes in its remaining and premium optical company, making sure that “Made in Germany” engraving stays there?

  • ZMWT

    If Bundesrebublik won’t, then the Republic of Russia? It could strengthen Russian optical and electronics industry.

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