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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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Pedestal
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 03/11/06

Loc: Smoggy Bottom, Baytown,Texas
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: brucepech]
      #5930380 - 06/19/13 11:57 PM

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.....

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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Pedestal]
      #5930382 - 06/20/13 12:01 AM

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.....




Setting up the legal end is very easy. Been there, done that.

Why would the legal loops be less daunting with Astronomics? If anything adding Astronomics might be bad - other dealers would disappear. If anything I would want to grow Meade separately and have Astronomics as a partner growing sales. Everyone wins.


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Spacetravelerx
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/23/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: ColoHank]
      #5930388 - 06/20/13 12:08 AM

Quote:

Quote:



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



No way, ColoHank. Lottery is very very VERY remote chance of success.






Exactly.




Are you inferring this would be a remote chance? Who knows. But you never know, if you don't try.

Being an entrepreneur is risky, but the rewards can be enormous.

I remember years ago on my first big project working out of the corner of the basement. I was too poor to work from the garage. I had a great idea, but I was told I was nuts. Never happen. Wasting money.

I got a little invoice, from NASA, for $24,000. The business then grew, and grew...in 2 years sales hit $5 million. It was interesting how those naysayers wanted to become buds AFTER I was successful.

To be successful, you have to believe. It also helps to be a little smart too though, and a dash of luck.

As has been said: "We are the music makers, and We are the dreamers of dreams."

Well back to the fun.


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OleCuss
member


Reged: 11/22/10

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5930396 - 06/20/13 12:15 AM

Quote:

.
.
.
So OleCuss - if we get enough in the pool you want to join the team?




I appreciate the implicit offer, but at the current entry price - not even a chance.

I've got one daughter who just got engaged and will be marrying late August or early September. I've got another daughter who will almost certainly get her proposal within the next 1.5 weeks (although she doesn't know that yet).

Sort of ties up my discretionary funds for the near future, so even if someone could convince me that this was a winner of an idea - I'd be out.

So no one should consider my non-participation as meaning that I continue to be a skeptic despite the efforts.


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: ColoHank]
      #5930402 - 06/20/13 12:20 AM

I didn't want to migrate to something like kickstarter. To be blunt, it's the disinterested investor who got this where it is.

I have, however, had a couple of other thoughts we might consider:

If not a Meade takeover (which may just get bogged down by legal actions from existing parties), the amount of cash we have talked about is enough to start a small manufacturing activity; one which would produce exactly what we want. So, this could be termed set up a CN prime.

Alternatively, it could be an effort more centered around buying IP and arranging for it to get used. This would be somewhat related to the above concept.

So, where I am going with this is success in taking over Meade is not necessarily the end-all in itself. With or without a success, there, possibilities are still available. Think about the level of skills across CN and I think you'll see what I mean.

-Rich


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jrbarnett
Eyepiece Hooligan
*****

Reged: 02/28/06

Loc: Petaluma, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: OleCuss]
      #5930412 - 06/20/13 12:24 AM

What litigation?

The highest bidder will get shareholder approval. Period. That's all the investors care about - maximizing their return on the buyout. There's nothing to litigate about if the shareholders approve an offer.

I think the CN bid is brilliant. The first crowd sourced takeover of a public company in history. But more likely a concerted CN effort to create an offer would drive the JOC and/or MITC bid up, making the greedy shareholder SOBs happy-happy.

The current litigation is shareholder derivative litigation targeting management for accepting the JOC bid, which was lower than the PE bid. Management took the bid that was less shaky and likely to keep at least some of them employed. The Shareholders, however, want their extra 20 cents. 95% of all takeovers do not result in shareholder litigation; typically shareholders approve. In fact, this litigation will be over quickly if a majority of shares approve the JOC takeover, leaving the bottom feeding contingency fee attorneys representing the plaintiff shareholders SOL.

Regards,

Jim


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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5930430 - 06/20/13 12:36 AM

Count me in.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EFT]
      #5930451 - 06/20/13 12:52 AM

Ed, thank you.

-Rich


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Geo31
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 01/28/13

Loc: Kingwood, TX
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5930466 - 06/20/13 01:01 AM

I've been through bankruptcy and both sides of M&A.

Right now everyone is maneuvering for their best position. Count on nothing less. I was shocked by Meade's audit statement, but as an accountant, I can assure you that Meade management had some influence on that statement, even though that is not supposed to happen, especially with Sarbanes-Oxley.

Everybody is trying to work out a deal that suits them best. The fact that shareholders are upset may be a result of them being idiots or it could be they ARE getting shafted by management (wouldn't be the first time).

If Meade is viable in some form as a going concern upon acquisition, there will be financing available. It would be in too many people's best interest.

Clearly though, the company has serious issues. The sooner this is resolved, the better for everyone involved in one way or another.


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mistyridge
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/28/05

Loc: Loomis, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Geo31]
      #5930545 - 06/20/13 02:38 AM

Count me in to.

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travelenfree1952
member


Reged: 12/03/05

Loc: California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5930626 - 06/20/13 05:27 AM

Spacetravelerx....Count me in. I would like to see us get a groundswell of CN forum members and meet the challenge that is in front of us, together. Lots of strength in numbers and $$. You guys are why I love this forum. We come together with our shared passion for astronomy and its technology and solve problems for each other....Meade's problem affects us in a major way. Maybe, we can do something about it Travelenfree1952

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Qwickdraw
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/03/12

Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: ColoHank]
      #5930668 - 06/20/13 06:41 AM

I could potentially invest an undetermined amount of cash ~25k. I say "potentially" because this would obviously depend of having full disclosure of all assets and liabilities of Meade. You don’t just say I want to but X company without knowing what their dept is as whoever purchases the company also purchases their dept.

Secondly, Does this get me priority status on having my 14" LX850 built?

Lastly, The first time we need capital and have to go outside our internal resources in today’s environment and considering Meade's tentative status no VC company is going to buy into it without a controlling interest. I guarantee you that today's Modus operandi for these companies is to gain control and when the time is right execute a "George Zimmer" on CN interest...'I guarantee it'
So my point is there would need to be not only enough cash to purchase but enough to keep out the bad guys.


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Starman27Moderator
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5930728 - 06/20/13 07:50 AM

This is an interesting thread. Most companies last about 50 years. The brands out live the companies that created them.It is interesting to see what we would or could do if we invested in our own telescope company.

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mayidunk
Don't Ask...
*****

Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Betwixt & Between...
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman27]
      #5930780 - 06/20/13 08:20 AM

It could keep Meade from either going under, or becoming just another "used to be" marque! I might be persuaded to kick a little cash into this...

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ken svp120
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/19/04

Loc: Ohio
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: mayidunk]
      #5930834 - 06/20/13 08:56 AM

While it is a romantic idea to have us members take over Meade, speaking from a practical standpoint, I think its far too late to have started this fund raising campaign. If we had taken this issue seriously about 6 months ago, formed a legal entity and set up a fund at that time, we might be at the bargaining table now. But sadly, nobody wanted to accept reality as it was in fact taking place. Now for anything to happen we would need someone with the cash at the ready...I doubt that having a few of us here and there is going to get $5,000,000 or so together in time to do anything.

Now go out there and prove me wrong!


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David PavlichAdministrator
Transmographied
*****

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Spacetravelerx]
      #5930863 - 06/20/13 09:14 AM

My guess is that beyond the initial offering, the fiduciaries at Meade will be looking at sustained support...deep pockets. Are you ready to commit to that? Just sayin'...

David


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: David Pavlich]
      #5930989 - 06/20/13 10:13 AM

David, thanks for the reality check. I still think this discussion should continue, though:

I have started to wonder if starting something new might be the best idea, informed by what has gone well or didn't with Meade and other companies. Wrangling Meade may be a nigh impossible job at this point: Meade has the production activity started in Mexico which never got really dialed in to steady state production of anything. Then there's the state of the main office, supply chain management activity, existing product support, and dealer network support. To top it off, there is a large inventory of something. If it is a mother lode of eyepieces, that's great. If it's $1.5 mil of LX80s awaiting some resolution no one has started on, $2.5 mil of LX800s waiting to be rebuilt as LX850s, $1 mil in ETX scopes and the rest in Saturn by Meade department store stuff, then the inventory may be a net loss no matter how it is dealt with.

Now, let's look at the clean sheet company. Note, this would be the ultimate state we would be trying to get Meade to, anyway. What do we want from it?

For starters, are we even talking about a conventional commercial optics company? If I ended up taking customer calls from time to time, I can immediately say I don't want to be talking about a department store scope. I get the feeling we'd all like to be involved with the good stuff. At the same time, I suggest a small company need not be obsessed with growth to the point it overextends itself and goes broke.

Products I would be interested in:

SCTs- especially with an eye to extreme modularity. So, for example, any built in image correction would need to be removable so conventional accessories would work (unlike the Edge series) and it would be directly compatible with hyperstar.

Fork mounts- here I would like to make them modular in the mode of Questar mounts where one OTA can come off and another go in its place. The other part of this would be to not kid around with the drive- get a really good drive in one.

GEMs- if this was from scratch on our dime, I end up on the side of saying we are knee deep in GEMs at the moment. A line of good modular forks is the bigger hole to fill.

Custom shop- have part of the production activity tasked with making short runs. We'll be fair with the price with the right to make our own evaluation copy and an option to license or buy the design to become part of our catalog.

Let me know what you think,

-Rich


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charles genovese
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/04/06

Loc: Madisonville Louisiana
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5931019 - 06/20/13 10:31 AM

Hmmm- I bet Meade is one of the biggest advertisers for S&T and Astronomy - will mean a huge loss of income.

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Paul Schroeder
sage
*****

Reged: 06/05/03

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Qwickdraw]
      #5931028 - 06/20/13 10:35 AM

If the buyer wants to turn this around (vs. sell it off to someone) how much capital is really needed?

It wouldn't be too surprising for the lucky new owners to need a few million on top of the purchase price to invest in R&D, restructure, and absorb ongoing operating losses. It would seem unlikely that new management could get this to cash flow positive immediately, even through shedding the underperforming parts.

In the short term (a year or two) trying to finance this business through debt seems problematic and expensive (in terms of any lender's equity participation).

With the current offer on the table of ~$4.8 million, to me at least any buyer who wants to turn this around would want to have at least $7 to $8 million in capital readily available.

Also, FWIW here's a link to the MIT Capital press release:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/mit-capital-inc-proposes-acquire-165400973.html

Paul

Edited by Paul Schroeder (06/20/13 10:38 AM)


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Kevdog
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/11/12

Loc: Desert Hills, AZ
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Paul Schroeder]
      #5931090 - 06/20/13 11:10 AM

How about shareholders in the new takeover "have to" alpha and beta test new products before they go out on the market. Prevent the LX80 and LX800 problems before they are problems!

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