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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: greedyshark]
      #5937238 - 06/23/13 10:24 PM

OK, that's the important list, and that isn't a public discussion.

-Rich


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
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Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5937331 - 06/24/13 12:07 AM

Quote:

Celestron was in a very similar position a few years back. Purchase by Synta turned things around.




Yes. Celestron was actually farther down the same path than Meade is now; they were well over the edge on which Meade has been teetering. The Celestron entity was in the hands of receivers and, if no buyer had appeared quickly, would have been involuntarily sold off piecemeal down to the fixtures and floor sweepings like the rest of the Tasco bankruptcy estate. Their primary supplier of import goods, with whom they had enjoyed a relationship for decades, stepped up to the plate. What followed was not a paring down nor an abandonment of existing projects. The Celestron line expanded and new products at the top of their line (CGE Pro, Edge HD series, etc.) were introduced. All this, while simultaneously transferring all American production to China with the expenses and disruptions inherent in such a move.

There are substantial parallels between the Synta/Celestron deal and the proposed JOC/Meade deal. Once more, a long-standing primary supplier with substantial knowledge of both the industry and the specific company is willing to step up. One major difference is that there are indications that the American production facilities might be retained - a major short-term savings compared to a massive transfer overseas.

There's no knowing whether this plan would succeed. However, we all watched while a recent recovery operation with a great many very similar characteristics worked quite well. It's an encouraging record.


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Jon Isaacs
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5937351 - 06/24/13 12:31 AM

Quote:


My only problem with what you are saying is it sounds like Deus Ex Machina to me. Who is this magic entity who already knows the company in and out, and knows the market perfectly, and why didn't they save it in the first place?

I agree if someone who knows the company in and out, has perfect knowledge of the business, and has perfect knowledge of the market combined with massive resources, they should do well. Then again, the company's remains offer nothing to such an entity.




Rich:

Based on some knowledge, some conjecture, this person and crew are the good folks at Explore Scientific. It's my understanding that Scott Roberts was quite high up in the management at Meade when he left to found Explore Scientific. From what I have seen, they understand the market and are observers themselves, they know what makes a reasonable telescope and what doesn't.

Jinghua, a long time supplier of Meade, they now own Explore Scientific as well as other parts of the Meade corp.. When Scott left Meade to form ES, I can only guess he was fed up with the Meade and thought he could do a better job himself. Hopefully... he and his crew will get the chance to show what they can do with Meade.

Jon


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5937472 - 06/24/13 04:03 AM

Didn't the Celestron move from Tasco to Synta happen in two stages?

First there was some sort of management buy out from Tasco in about 2002, about the time the NS GPS scopes were released. This was from liquidation because Tasco went bankrupt.
Then there were fairly quick releases of the CGE and AT-GT series mounts, around 2003 or 4.
Then the North and Level patent battle with Meade, that was settled in about 2006 or so.
Then the Synta take over around 2006. This was about the time that production moved to China.

Celestron seems to have been a going concern throughout this, it was their parent company that got into trouble.

Chris


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: cn register 5]
      #5937700 - 06/24/13 10:05 AM

Yes. It was bought by the internal folks who went on to start plane wave, first. But it was poorly capitalized at that point. But that was the slice in time when the 20" Dall kirkham started touring the event circuit. Then they sold it to Synta and took the large mount and 20" telescope to start Plane Wave.

-Rich


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PatHolland
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 10/11/09

Loc: Clever, Missouri
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5937723 - 06/24/13 10:22 AM

I agree with you Jon. If the much discussed rumor that Scott Roberts will play a role in the Meade buyout is true, I doubt there will be anything more to discuss if/when that happens. Scott has proven himself with Explore Scientific and his ability to produce quality products, excellent customer service and a stable business in an unstable economy is without question in my mind. All it will take to save Meade are basically 2 things...capital and a sound business plan. If Scott is part of the buyout, Meade will rise from the ashes like the proverbial phoenix. If Scott does take over, I hope they name a new design of scope "The Phoenix."

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jon Isaacs]
      #5937743 - 06/24/13 10:33 AM

Cash is cash and MITC, whoever that is, has the biggest bid.

So, I'd suggest JOC/ ES should be prepared to go on their own. Consider: what could you get infusing the Meade purchase price + operating capital into a company which is clearly healthy, has happy customers, and is on an upswing?

So what this all hinges on is if the Mexico facility is a secret gem whose record is more a reflection of being asked to make equipment which wasn't optimized for manufacture and properly field tested. As anywhere else, if you make perfect copies of a flawed design, your product is still flawed.

So, if the optics were coming from there, then there is reason to believe that factory has its act together and what is needed are product designs worth making. In that case, there is a real asset in buying Meade which has nothing to do with the brand name or IP.

-Rich

Quote:

Quote:


My only problem with what you are saying is it sounds like Deus Ex Machina to me. Who is this magic entity who already knows the company in and out, and knows the market perfectly, and why didn't they save it in the first place?

I agree if someone who knows the company in and out, has perfect knowledge of the business, and has perfect knowledge of the market combined with massive resources, they should do well. Then again, the company's remains offer nothing to such an entity.




Rich:

Based on some knowledge, some conjecture, this person and crew are the good folks at Explore Scientific. It's my understanding that Scott Roberts was quite high up in the management at Meade when he left to found Explore Scientific. From what I have seen, they understand the market and are observers themselves, they know what makes a reasonable telescope and what doesn't.

Jinghua, a long time supplier of Meade, they now own Explore Scientific as well as other parts of the Meade corp.. When Scott left Meade to form ES, I can only guess he was fed up with the Meade and thought he could do a better job himself. Hopefully... he and his crew will get the chance to show what they can do with Meade.

Jon




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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5937835 - 06/24/13 11:26 AM

Quote:

Cash is cash and MITC, whoever that is, has the biggest bid.

So, I'd suggest JOC/ ES should be prepared to go on their own. Consider: what could you get infusing the Meade purchase price + operating capital into a company which is clearly healthy, has happy customers, and is on an upswing?

So what this all hinges on is if the Mexico facility is a secret gem whose record is more a reflection of being asked to make equipment which wasn't optimized for manufacture and properly field tested. As anywhere else, if you make perfect copies of a flawed design, your product is still flawed.

So, if the optics were coming from there, then there is reason to believe that factory has its act together and what is needed are product designs worth making. In that case, there is a real asset in buying Meade which has nothing to do with the brand name or IP.

-Rich





Rich:

You asked who would be the mythical figure with both the knowledge of the amateur astronomy business and an inside knowledge of Meade, I provided your answer.

The fact that they are interested in doing so, indicates to me that they have a pretty good idea they could make it work. We, on the other hand, do not have sufficient knowledge...

Who gets it, only the future will tell. As I conjectured earlier, when all is said and done, it may well be Jinghua, Scott Roberts and crew... why? Because they are the only ones for whom it has any actual value because they are the ones who could make it work.

Jon


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Pedestal
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5937918 - 06/24/13 12:16 PM

It's not the same thing at all. If you want to start a new company get yourself a business plan, find some venture cap folks and go for it. Buying Meade is buying a name, lntellectual rights, l.nventory.
The reason I suggested Astronomics is in the end you have to make a profit They havve a history of running a profitable business.
While CN members could possibly raise the money, who among us has a proven track record of running a profitable business, -and - would they be in charge....


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gmartin02
professor emeritus
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Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5937938 - 06/24/13 12:33 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Btw, I'd be in for $1k.




Better have another 10K to throw in too...the purchase price would be just the beginning...




Rod,

I'm surprised you are the first one to mention this. With so many posters talking (fantasizing) about chipping in to pool enough money to buy Meade, without a MASSIVE additional amount of capitol after the purchase, Meade fails anyway (not to mention the amateur investors all losing some to all of their money). Meade is losing money hand over fist every month, and even with a great management team, it would take at least a couple of years to turn the cash flow around. Also, no-one is going to extend a line of credit to a group of amateur astronomers who just purchased a failing company, so this idea probably has the highest probability of Meade going under permanently. It is a nice dream, but one that is not based on reality.




I mentioned it here within page 4.

David




David (and Andrew),

I stand corrected about no one previously mentioning the need for working capitol in addition to the purchase price. I would have responded sooner, but I was very ill the rest of the weekend (this is the first time I have been out of bed other than to the bathroom since Saturday night).

Greg


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Jared
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Reged: 10/11/05

Loc: Piedmont, California, U.S.
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Geo31]
      #5938232 - 06/24/13 03:30 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Don't forget new areas of the hobby that didn't exist ten or fifteen years ago such as solar scopes and astrophotography.





No. Seriously?

I wonder what those Celestron-Williams cold cameras were?




Sorry--I had intended to say "digital astrophotography" which was quite new in the amateur world about 15 years ago. Obviously, there have been amateurs using hypered film, cold cameras, and ordinary 35mm for a long time.

The point, though, remains. I believe that a lot of additional astrophotographers have been drawn into the hobby in the past fifteen years or so with the advent of digital tools.


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Pak
super member
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Reged: 09/15/12

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Jared]
      #5938242 - 06/24/13 03:41 PM

Very long thread and I admit I didn't read most of it but I can't help but thinking the following:

1) Meade is at risk of not lasting until the stockholder vote.
2) If that happens they close their doors.
3) JOC wants the company and they want to revive the company .
4) Some mysterious chinese company, that didn't have a website a week ago, who nobody had heard of, has made an offer.
5) If the confusion that ensues causes delays in the merger deal between Meade and JOC, that would extend the window in which Meade can run totally out of money and close doors.
6) If that happens, that company can buy up IP and sell them to anyone. Namely another chinese company.

Lastly

7) What chinese owned telescope related company has the most to gain from this chaos?

If Synta can make Meade go away AND buy up some of their patents etc, wouldn't that be a win win? And all that for a very low price. I don't think the actual offer if real. I think the chaos that they are causing, the delays while attorneys battle it out, the "limbo" they created, is their real goal.

Smart move on their part no doubt. Worse case senario what happens to those who's telescopes are being fixed under warranty when things get that bad? Any way they will ever get fixed and returned?

Edited by Pak (06/24/13 03:43 PM)


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csrlice12
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: ColoHank]
      #5938313 - 06/24/13 04:22 PM

Quote:

It'd probably be a safer bet to buy lottery tickets.




That's Meade's Plan C, sell the company off thru a lottery......they could actually stand to make more money this way, say $10 a ticket.....


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csrlice12
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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Pedestal]
      #5938321 - 06/24/13 04:28 PM

Quote:

Humm.. I really don't think the idea of a direct CN takeover of Meade is practical. Even if the money could be raised, setting up the legal end would probably take too long. BUT.... Supposed Astronomics made a bid, backed with money from a fund owned by CN members...... I think the legal loops would be less daunting. A simple LLC with cash loaning Astronomics money for a share/stake in Meade.... There is probably a dozen or more reasons why this would not work, but.....




Maybe we could get 501(c)(4) status from the IRS, then donors would not be listed......


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Pak]
      #5938479 - 06/24/13 06:12 PM

If the May 30 report is to be believed, how is Meade going to make payroll between now and the October shareholders meeting?

I think they must be laying on the sauce a little bit to make a buyout sound more palatable to the investors. Otherwise, the the meeting would have to be in August at the latest.

On the other hand, there is quite a bit of time for other actions, so many of which would be detrimental.

-Rich

Quote:

Very long thread and I admit I didn't read most of it but I can't help but thinking the following:

1) Meade is at risk of not lasting until the stockholder vote.
2) If that happens they close their doors.
3) JOC wants the company and they want to revive the company .
4) Some mysterious chinese company, that didn't have a website a week ago, who nobody had heard of, has made an offer.
5) If the confusion that ensues causes delays in the merger deal between Meade and JOC, that would extend the window in which Meade can run totally out of money and close doors.
6) If that happens, that company can buy up IP and sell them to anyone. Namely another chinese company.

Lastly

7) What chinese owned telescope related company has the most to gain from this chaos?

If Synta can make Meade go away AND buy up some of their patents etc, wouldn't that be a win win? And all that for a very low price. I don't think the actual offer if real. I think the chaos that they are causing, the delays while attorneys battle it out, the "limbo" they created, is their real goal.

Smart move on their part no doubt. Worse case senario what happens to those who's telescopes are being fixed under warranty when things get that bad? Any way they will ever get fixed and returned?




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blueman
Photon Catcher
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Reged: 07/20/07

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Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Stew57]
      #5938779 - 06/24/13 09:54 PM

Meade needs a miracle. They have been teetering on failure for quite some time. Each time they get some money, they try to make a big move and it bites them. They need someone to run it that can understand that they need to try to sell what they have that works best and then sell those items.
Blueman


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5939024 - 06/25/13 12:52 AM

Pedantic Mode ON from a prior life.

A few Business M&A basics that may have relevance to the Meade situation.

---Unless the by-laws of incorporation specifically require a shareholder vote on any M&A activity (this is rare) the Board of Directors has the full authority to accept or reject any offers.

---No one involved in the process is allowed to discuss any of the proceedings with anyone outside of the situation. This is a legal obligation of those involved.

---The BoD is not required to accept the highest monetary offer. It can consider other attributes from an offer within the bounds of performing their fiduciary responsibilities to the shareholders.

---Most VCs create a ‘named fund’ through which the VC Managing Directors work. The fund is not required to carry the name of the VC group. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. The funds are usually a legal entity such as a LLP or LLC formed specifically for a purpose.

---The BoD should avoid bankruptcy if at all possible. BK puts the shareholders at the lowest rung of the ladder with regard to holding any value. A Judge in a Bankruptcy Court will have the authority to decide which claimants would get what share of proceeds resulting from the sale of assets. Any funds/assets need not be distributed equally.

---Funds to keep a company operating through a troubling period are sometimes available to borrow, at very high interest rates. Such loans are written to usually have first claim in a bankruptcy proceeding.

---In the several situations I am familiar with, manufacturing in Mexico is done on a contract basis. As such, the facility is not the company’s asset. And, in fact, if a bankruptcy occurs, the contractor may have a major claim in Bankruptcy Court.

Pass the popcorn.


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Starhawk
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Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EddWen]
      #5939035 - 06/25/13 01:11 AM

Edd,

Defnitely interesting. OK, so what is the named fund for? Liability protection?

-Rich


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EddWen
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 04/26/08

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5939053 - 06/25/13 01:39 AM

No. The funds are built as a separate entity for a specific purpose. Investors in the VC group (VCs work with other peoples money) can chose to place some of their money in the entity, or not. Some are more risky and some less. Some may invest in medical products and other in blood diamond mining, etc.

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nitegeezer
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 11/27/07

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5939054 - 06/25/13 01:43 AM

The named fund could be to hide the name of the company involved. I remember when three companies were working together on a project, but to protect their identities, they were each given a code name so if any document did slip out there was still no way to track it to a source.

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