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Monday, April 24, 2006

Mamiya's Demise Greatly Exaggerated

Here is an email from Bill Gratton of Mamiya America about some of the recent Mamiya news...

"Good Morning Friends,

"Some of you may have recently heard some rumors regarding Mamiya. Over the weekend there were a lot of 'busy-bees' on the internet making all sorts of speculations, including implications that Mamiya was going out of business. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact Mamiya's future is brighter than ever before. I've attached a copy of the official press release. It should help clear things up a little.

"It is actually really good news. Mamiya OP is a very large company, making everything from golf club shafts, fishing rods, pachinko machines, and much much more. The upper management has always been made up of people from such departments (seemingly everywhere but camera/optics). The new operation will be solely focused on the photographic field. The transferring of the Mamiya Camera/Optics division to a company whose business is software and IT makes for a very promising digital future. We are all really excited by this!

"As for the sales and the future of existing cameras, everything should remain business as usual for the foreseeable future. It should dramatically improve our position in transitioning to digital technologies.

"It will not interfere, interrupt, or negatively affect any of our operations here in the US.

"The MAC Group's dedication to partnering with the education community is as strong as ever. These improvements should further secure our leadership role within the professional photographic community, and help us to further serve you and your students in the future.

"As usual if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. I am traveling this week to a couple of remote areas. So I apologize in advance for any delay in getting back to you in a timely fashion."

—Bill Gratton
National Mngr. Educational Markets
MAC Group / Leaf America

—Official Press Release—

Mamiya Transfers Camera and Optical Division

Elmsford, NY, April 24, 2006—Mamiya O/P has announced that its Optical Equipment Division, manufacturer of the leading medium format cameras and lenses, will be transferred to a new company. The new company, Cosmo Digital Imaging Company, Ltd., was formed by Cosmos Scientific Systems, Inc., a leading company in IT technology.

Cosmo Digital Imaging will be able to combine its software expertise with Mamiya’s photographic capabilities to further advance in the digital direction of professional photographic imaging technology. Building on Mamiya’s reputation and worldwide distribution network, the new company will be able to achieve an even higher level of customer satisfaction. Service of Mamiya cameras, lenses and accessories will also be handled by the existing Mamiya distribution network.

Coming in the wake of a number of industry changes, this positive development gives Mamiya a new direction and a vision for the future.

Cosmo Digital is planning to execute these changes on September 1, 2006 and will retain a substantial number of present staff and facilities and acquire all the assets including inventory, property, trademarks and patents to assure a smooth transition."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, let's take a look at Mamiya and the rest of the medium format companies in a year. When a great company begins sending out distress signals no one in his/her right mind would purchase anything. The sad truth is that they will be missed by the "Old Guys." But, all these types of companies fates are sealed. They're gone, kaput, siyanara, and goodybe. This move of Mamiya's is nothing more the first phase of death.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I didn't hear anything in there about Mamiya medium-format film cameras, though. "A very promising digital future" doesn't sound so promising for film.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious if the future is so bright then why the company's trademark, patents, staff and all stuff combined was sold for only 100 million Yen, that's less then 900 thousand Us dollars ... can anyone "beat" that price? ;)

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ironically, just before this brouhaha I was strongly considering the purchase of a Mamiya 645AFD. This event snapped me back to common sense.

-Ken Tanaka-

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mamiya-OP company's financial sheets, the sale of the camera division announcement, and the new owner's financial data are all online, though of course in Japanese.

Neither of the companies would be considered "large", especially by digital electronics standards.

Mamiya (the Japanese company) had quite a bit of debt, the debt was growing, and obviously Mamiya needed to do something. It chose to get rid of a growing liability.

The new company will surely make a statement of its plans in September, but if I read the balance sheets correctly it is itself only a $10 million/yr company so I doubt it will bring any more capital to bear on future developments.

As a former Mamiya camera owner this brings me no joy, but it does seem as if MAC ( which is a different company than the Japanese Mamiya) is not quite giving the full picture.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mac still has not explained why the zd was not released in this country. I purchased $4000 worth of used glass for the zd and now know it was a big mistake. I don,t believe a word comming out of mamiya of america.

11:33 PM  

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