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Meade Merges with another company

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#1 moynihan

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 02:56 PM

http://finance.yahoo...rger-2133277...

#2 mayidunk

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

Earlier, I received a PM telling me that I may have been "mod bashing" in one of my earlier posts, though they did not identify the actual post. I invited the individual to point out the post in question, but then decided to see if I could find it myself.

I quickly came upon this post from earlier, and since it is likely the post in question, I've decided it would be better to just remove the possible source of offense.

My apologies if I offended anyone, it was entirely inadvertent. The mods are just doing their jobs and, much like the guy shagging golf balls at the driving range, sometimes they get hit unintentionally.

Sorry about that! :tonofbricks:

#3 Starhawk

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

I posted the first thread on this in this group. It has already been locked. Tread lightly. I'm not sure what and all is getting these threads locked so quickly. I'm just guessing these categories of input are getting them shut:

(A) Nationalist pride projected onto a single business discussion.

(B) Brand perceptions.

© General snark.

Please be sensitive to the fact some folks have put sincere effort to put together good data for what they post, and an offhand emotional comment, while it may feel good for a moment, just ruins it for everybody when the Mods have to lock the thread to uphold the TOS.

-Rich

#4 Geo.

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:47 PM

When a conglomerate with 300-400 subsidiaries and 400,000 employees is involved in a transaction of this type it is called an acquisition.

#5 bcuddihee

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 03:56 PM

and why would this thread or any other on the topic of an important acquisition be locked?

#6 rmollise

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:07 PM

It was not the subject of the thread that locked it IMO, it was the usual junk: name-calling, politics, yadda, yadda, yadda.

#7 moynihan

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:41 PM

It has already been locked. Don't bother commenting. It's a forbidden topic.


Fascinating

#8 GeneT

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:20 PM

Thanks for letting us know. Maybe it will help Meade's bottom line.

#9 Starman27

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 08:58 PM

There is another thread on this topic in the Meade/RCX/LX/ACF forum. The topic is not forbidden. However, many cross postings violate TOS. Also If the topic is lost or disregarded for politics, personal attacks, vendor bashing the usual problems that arise, then the thread can become locked. So far most everything thing discussed here has been off topic. Let's try an experiment and discuss this important issue with out the problems that have caused other threads to become locked. It is not the topic that is forbidden, but behavior that violates the TOS as uncle Rod pointed out above.

#10 gnowellsct

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:16 PM

Four and a half million bucks for Meade? Such a deeeaaaal! We could have put that together with a bunch of CNers. Then turn out some primo optics!

#11 Cotts

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:20 PM

There is another thread on this topic in the Meade/RCX/LX/ACF forum. The topic is not forbidden. However, many cross postings violate TOS. Also If the topic is lost or disregarded for politics, personal attacks, vendor bashing the usual problems that arise, then the thread can become locked. So far most everything thing discussed here has been off topic. Let's try an experiment and discuss this important issue with out the problems that have caused other threads to become locked. It is not the topic that is forbidden, but behavior that violates the TOS as uncle Rod pointed out above.


This x 1000 from the other Mod here. Just stay on topic and this important topic can be discussed at length.

And just to be clear what is not allowed.

Personal attacks and insults.
Vendor bashing - i.e. "all the stuff made by "X" is junk..."
Mod bashing. "The mods don't allow certain topics...."
Taking the thread off topic. Stay on the ramifications of the Meade situation.

As Uncle Rod said, it is these sorts of things that get threads locked every time, no matter the topic, no matter the forum.

Herman <Starman27> and I are going to work hard to keep this thread alive. But we need your help.

Dave

#12 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:58 PM

It was not the subject of the thread that locked it IMO, it was the usual junk: name-calling, politics, yadda, yadda, yadda.


:waytogo:

Jon

#13 Starhawk

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:18 AM

When I went and looked at the Equipment forum thread, not only was it locked, there wasn't enough of that thread left to figure out what anyone had done, or why it was locked. People I noticed who had had a lot of material vaporized have generally been pretty reserved contributors in other threads. It's in smoldering crater territory.

The history involving this vendor in recent years has been emotional for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. I can see rehashing isn't the pinnacle of our civilization's achievement. On the other hand, isn't that why everyone cares what is going on?

What are we left being able to say on this without getting a thread locked? Can we refer to the published financial reports? Can people talk about their product ownership experiences? Sometimes the snark-free discussion of the facts still is not a pretty picture. Where do we stand on that sort of situation, here? Is there a guideline such as, "If you find yourself writing 'I feel such and such is bad,' you're probably violating the TOS."

I fully agree there has to be a balance between whining snark and selling snake oil. It's just really frustrating to see discussions seemingly unable to get anywhere and not having an option for fixing it.

-Rich

#14 Benson

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 03:00 AM

I find it disturbing that Meade has been acquired by a foreign competitor. Meade has a long history of supplying quality optics. I agree they made some mistakes, like all other such suppliers. They did not deserve this fate. It's a cutthroat business.

#15 jrcrilly

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:40 AM

I find it disturbing that Meade has been acquired by a foreign competitor.


If this goes through (and it surely will), Meade will be acquired by their primary supplier, who happens to be foreign. Very similar to what happened to Celestron, except that wasn't voluntary.

#16 MikeCatfin

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:23 AM

Regardless of my feeling toward Meade, I think this deal was inevitable and good for the long term prospects of the company. Meade has been on the financial ropes for quite a while. I would think that Meade being taken out by a foreign entity regardless of origin would add some stability to the company and hopefully will allow the company to focus on their products as opposed to whether or not they will live to see another day.

#17 Thomas Karpf

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 07:57 AM

Personally, I'm hopeful that being acquired by a much larger company will allow for sufficient scrutiny of 'next product BLAH' that careless blunders (I AM NOT EVEN GENERALLY REFERRING TO ANYTHING/ANYBODY HERE) can be avoided.

Disclaimer: I haven't bought anything from Meade in a decade (although I liked the optical quality of what I bought back then), and would very much like to see them in the game again. I have NO opinion on ANY of their current products, but I like the idea of the LX-850 (and subsequent) lines.

#18 Stew57

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:32 AM

Meade has come up with some nice concepts. The implementation of these concepts uas left much to be desired. Hopefully this will be rectified now. Sad thing is the bad taste the consumer endured is not soon forgotten. Under new management is often employed to battle this.

#19 bunyon

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:33 AM

Deserve's got nothing to do with it. And it's questionable, anyway.

Meade, like most other companies that serve the amateur astronomy community, isn't a very big company. Not a huge cash flow, not many customers (all relative to the general marketplace). One bad run can easily bring such a company down. Without going into all the particulars, they've had such a run. A lot of folks unhappy with their recent work, a couple of very visible product failures. I don't know the details in all cases but, I suspect, had the folks at Meade had sufficient time, they could right the ship. But given the business world, they were never going to get that time. One can only hope now that the new owner can pull them around. Given their history and the relatively few players in the business, I suspect they can.

But it seems a good warning to all: making astronomy products for the amateur market is a tough business. Not many people there to buy your products and, when they do, they probably won't buy in bulk (ask yourself, even if you're one of those guys who goes through scopes and gear on a daily basis, have you ever up and ordered a pallet of eyepieces?).

Pretty much any of the companies we deal with here could go down with one bad launch. Carl Zambuto makes a dozen straight bad mirrors and, whoosh, all the air goes out of the room. Even though I've been ticked at pretty much every maker/dealer at one point or another, my hat is off to them for trying to serve such a small and demanding community and for making it possible to do stuff that, 20 years ago, I'd have thought impossible for the mid-level amateur.



I find it disturbing that Meade has been acquired by a foreign competitor. Meade has a long history of supplying quality optics. I agree they made some mistakes, like all other such suppliers. They did not deserve this fate. It's a cutthroat business.



#20 moynihan

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:43 AM

But it seems a good warning to all: making astronomy products for the amateur market is a tough business. Not many people there to buy your products and, when they do, they probably won't buy in bulk...Pretty much any of the companies we deal with here could go down with one bad launch.


:question:
I think this is a good reality check.

#21 Starhawk

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 09:59 AM

Well said, indeed. All I would add is the high proportion of individual users in astronomy means the bulk of the customer base is paying most of what they can afford for this. It makes the experiences very personal. A company will have a process defined for dealing with a vendor who made a bad delivery with some route to normal relations, and the details will stay private if at all possible. Individual people really can't do that. That one problem car or major appliance can be the last one, and they'll tell anyone who asks the story.

I for one wouldn't be surprised by very major changes from this event. Give the new organization some breathing room and a chance to prove themselves.

-Rich

Deserve's got nothing to do with it. And it's questionable, anyway.

Meade, like most other companies that serve the amateur astronomy community, isn't a very big company. Not a huge cash flow, not many customers (all relative to the general marketplace). One bad run can easily bring such a company down. Without going into all the particulars, they've had such a run. A lot of folks unhappy with their recent work, a couple of very visible product failures. I don't know the details in all cases but, I suspect, had the folks at Meade had sufficient time, they could right the ship. But given the business world, they were never going to get that time. One can only hope now that the new owner can pull them around. Given their history and the relatively few players in the business, I suspect they can.

But it seems a good warning to all: making astronomy products for the amateur market is a tough business. Not many people there to buy your products and, when they do, they probably won't buy in bulk (ask yourself, even if you're one of those guys who goes through scopes and gear on a daily basis, have you ever up and ordered a pallet of eyepieces?).

Pretty much any of the companies we deal with here could go down with one bad launch. Carl Zambuto makes a dozen straight bad mirrors and, whoosh, all the air goes out of the room. Even though I've been ticked at pretty much every maker/dealer at one point or another, my hat is off to them for trying to serve such a small and demanding community and for making it possible to do stuff that, 20 years ago, I'd have thought impossible for the mid-level amateur.



I find it disturbing that Meade has been acquired by a foreign competitor. Meade has a long history of supplying quality optics. I agree they made some mistakes, like all other such suppliers. They did not deserve this fate. It's a cutthroat business.



#22 bierbelly

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:26 AM

I find it disturbing that Meade has been acquired by a foreign competitor.


If this goes through (and it surely will), Meade will be acquired by their primary supplier, who happens to be foreign. Very similar to what happened to Celestron, except that wasn't voluntary.


Meade gets funding and Jinqua (or whatever) gets a marquis-level trademark. Not a bad deal.

#23 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:45 AM

Meade, like most other companies that serve the amateur astronomy community, isn't a very big company. Not a huge cash flow, not many customers (all relative to the general marketplace). One bad run can easily bring such a company down. Without going into all the particulars, they've had such a run



Paul:

As an observer of Meade products and fortunes over the last 20 or so years, I think it has taken more than just one bad run to bring them down, I think it has been a long term process, probably the result of a company driven by stockholders and the marketing department rather than savvy amateur astronomers. Hopefully that will change with the prospect of Scott Roberts guiding Meade's future.

The current problems with the roll out of their new mounts are strikingly similar to the last time Meade came out with new GEMs, the LXD-55/75. The announcement and advertising began long before the arrival and when the product arrived, it was flawed. It's just bad strategy, people get excited at the announcement, then they become frustrated with the wait and then disappointed with product.

Another example of poor marketing was the decision to call the ACF series of scopes, Ritchey–Chrétien Telescopes. That was a serious mistake, the scopes were a definite step up from the standard SCTs that had been around for more than 30 years but that was all lost in the silly attempt to call them something they were not. These were high end scopes aimed at the knowledgeable amateur, the exact people who could easily see through this scheme.

And then there was the changes in their support policies, as I recall they decided not to supply parts for their scopes.

In any event, the consumer has seen a long term erosion of whatever confidence they might have had in Meade, one bad run does not defeat a solid company. Compare Meade to Orion. Maybe it's because Orion is a vendor/designer rather than a manufacturer but Orion seems to have their finger on the pulse of the modern amateur astronomer..

Consider the modern commercial Dob. A joint venture between Orion and GSO, today, every commercial Dob, whether GSO or Synta, directly springs from the original XT-6, XT-8 and XT-10 that hit the scene more than 13 years ago. Orion has capitalized on that market, developed Intelliscope and now has developed affordable GOTO Dobs. Meade sole product is the Lightbridge, GSO's truss Dob.

The ED-80, a joint venture between Orion and Synta, it marked a revolution in affordable, apochromatic/ED refractors. And Orion has been riding that wave ever since. Meade seems to be a non-player in that field.

Looking back, Meade has long had a mixed record, copying other's designs, importing a variety of scopes, capitalizing on the Meade name by marketing a variety of poorly outfitted department store telescopes. The LX-200 series probably represents the pinnacle of Meade, they really had a solid product with that one.

My memory maybe faulty but I remember reading a story by Roland Christen where he wrote that when Meade was introducing their line of ED/apo doublets, John Diebel, Meade's founder, told Roland that the Meade doublets were going to put him out of business.

It didn't happen that way. Astro-Physics is flourishing, Meade has gone under. Maybe if Meade had stuck with quality products for the amateur astronomer, something Orion has done, the story would be different. I do think that if Scott Roberts does take charge of Meade, the future for Meade and for amateur astronomers is bright.

Jon Isaacs

#24 rdandrea

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 10:47 AM

Meade gets funding and Jinqua (or whatever) gets a marquis-level trademark. Not a bad deal.



Not bad at all. If you look at the last 10-Q, the sale price was about equal to the reported value of tools, machinery, and equipment. So they got the brand essentially for free, or for whatever debt Meade incurred since the last filing. Meade was hemorrhaging cash-- It looks like they recently (~December)issued a bunch of shares to a Capital company, which I assume were discounted, probably in return for enough cash to pay their accounts payable and keep going.

I think to be viable, though, they need to cultivate a market for their products in Defense or Homeland Security--something in addition to selling to us amateurs.

#25 Glen A W

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

I am surprised they lasted this long. It was a miracle, in light of the losses upon losses. I am sorry to see this, yet at the same time I know it had to be. Meade should never have gone public. That was the ruination of the company right there. They had been on a high after the ETX boom and they could never regain that. I believe it is probably inappropriate for companies in this business to be publicly traded, especially if astronomy is their main occupation. Small companies are put under the wrong pressures by going public.

Good luck to Meade. GW






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