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The plot thickens (Meade takeover)

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#2001 svdwal

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:48 PM

There is a Meade Europe, and they sell the same stuff as Meade (USA): http://www.meade.de/...telescopes.html (in German). I can imagine this having some impact.

Will Meade Europe be able to sell Meade telescopes? Not only the ones which are made in Asia, but also the ones made in Mexico?

What are the effects of a possible takeover bij Sunny? Does Meade Europe have the kind of rights that Sunny must honor. Will it be possible for Meade Europe to star exporting Meade telescopes to the USA?
 

#2002 A. Viegas

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:55 PM

One point that received little attention in this thread thus far is the value of Meade's distribution channel/relationships. Sunny is an unknown to most of us, but like most PRC manufacturing companies they probably value the established distribution channels that Meade has in the USA. Paying $4-5mn is probably peanuts compared with the value that can be realized by offering an enhanced product line of sporting equipment, telescopes and who knows what else with the Meade brand.

Given that Sunny is not a recognized telescope powerhouse like JOC it seems to me that they will focus more on the lower-cost - higher volume products and do-away with the high-end products. I suppose we will just have to wait to see how this turns out, but I agree with other posters regarding being wary of buying any high-end Meade products at this time.

Al
 

#2003 dmdouglass

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:27 PM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2004 Starhawk

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:37 AM

Umm, the new stuff you wanted just came out, and was reported first, here.

-Rich
 

#2005 Spacetravelerx

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:39 AM

Please re-read my posts. None are out-of-sync with the occurrences described in the "Background of the Merger". The only thing I noted as unusual was the MITC offer increased to $4.50/share.

In my opinion:

* The Ningbo deal is highly likely to occur, although the offering price might be reduced somewhat. If you read further into the 14A you will note that the Officers and Directors have already signed an agreement to vote their shares (18.08%) in favor of the Merger. The other 4 principal shareholders will undoubtedly vote in favor. The combined shares would be 47.7% of outstanding shares. 50%+ is needed to complete the deal.

And you are correct, no one knows what Ningbo's plans are, and I have clearly said so. I have suggested that new owners will take a close look at where losses can be eliminated and where there profits to be made. For the last year, and currently, "Advanced Products" have lost big money.

* You mention the FTC twice, without presenting a reason as to why there would be an intervention. Since you previously stated the possibility was greater than 0%, I'll put it at 1%.

* You note the possibility of bankruptcy. This a complex process, where decisions are made by a Judge in bankruptcy proceedings. There may, or may not be, an opportunity for a single entity to buy the remaining assets.

* JOC to the rescue. You should re-read the time-line in the 14A regarding JOC/Meade and put it in perspective. JOC had ample time to do due diligence. They did so, and decided to not do a deal at the initial price. They also decided not to do a deal at a higher price. So now, they would do what?

* Another is......vaporware.

* Meade is an easy fix. Good, I have suggested that if you have a good business plan, it should be easy for you to get the financing and jump in.

I do not want Meade to fail, and, in my opinion, neither do most of the posters here. But, sometimes facts must be recognized.

....



Well, it is interesting reading all this, safely back home in New Mexico - for 3 days until I am back on the road again.

Deleted by kkokkolis

First let me clarify -deleted by kkokkolis - had I been more aware of Meade's situation in 2011 or 2012, I probably would have done something. Now, it is a tad too late. To be blunt I am busy with two missions (Space missions), and trying to close on two more over the next month. Translation - flight hardware and software going up into space. So, I am a bit busy on other fronts. Still, I wish I had gotten involved earlier.

Now, an observation. I joined this board a few months ago to mingle with other Astronomers, get some hardware insights, exchange war stories, and to help out one another.

I have met some wonderful folks here.

Deleted by kkokkolis- It has really put me off. Yes, Meade seems to invoke emotions with some, but come on, it is getting ridiculous. This message board is a real turn off, and I think would give folks the wrong impression about our hobby. Case in point:

* Questions about the LX600 becomes a battle ground swiftly
* The Meade situation...yeah
* Refractor vs SCT? This is a battle?
* MallinCam vs. everyone else

And of course God forbid I purchased an LX850, and I am dropping $5 - $10k more on Meade products over the next 30 days. And if I dropped $3M on Meade products, boy let the attacks go forth.

I really want to abandon this board, but I do like some folks here, and like to exchange Meade and astro info when not being mugged.

Other take aways:
* I am now avoiding some of the more rude vendors on this board and telling folks to do the same.
* Celestron? Well, I really had no feelings either way. I even liked watching some of their videos. Some products are good, others I have no interest in. I even like the competition between Meade and Celestron. It really drove the technology. Now? I will do everything to avoid them, my own little boycott. Folks here have done a good job putting me off on them. BTW, if Meade dies and their products die off, all you have is Celestron. Be careful what you wish for...
* I was going to ASAE, however I am suspicious the bully festival will continue there. So my family will avoid it. Which is sad, I like the Tucson area. Last time I was in Tucson I was there to receive an award for all my years of service in Aerospace. I even shared the stage with Burt Rutan. NVM, you folks don't know him...

So new plan -
* I will focus on technical discussions
* Friendly support and guidance either way
* Ignore all rude comments from here on out (try and get them deleted too).
* I may start another business discussion, but with folks looking for friendly chat, ideas, brain storming, experiences and sharing the latest news. Folks can disagree, but on polite terms.

Tough business discussions? That is my day job. I really tire of it here.

BTW, the discussions here put me off so much it has impacted my purchases with the vendor who manages this board. They are really nice and bright folks, but mentally I associate them with the negative vibes here. Sad, but true. Certainly they have not done any put downs, nor bullied folks like myself, but it is their board. I am sure others will buy from them, so they won't go out of business any time soon not having sales with little ol' me.

To end on a positive note, I found the Moab area absolutely wonderful! The weather did not cooperate last night, but I will be back with my Meade Telescopes (and Celestron T-Adaptor) this fall and beyond. Wonderful location!

Well I am tired. Night y'all.
 

#2006 Stew57

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:06 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2007 gmartin02

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 04:41 AM

* Celestron? Well, I really had no feelings either way. I even liked watching some of their videos. Some products are good, others I have no interest in. I even like the competition between Meade and Celestron. It really drove the technology. Now? I will do everything to avoid them, my own little boycott. Folks here have done a good job putting me off on them. BTW, if Meade dies and their products die off, all you have is Celestron. Be careful what you wish for...

I find some irony in this, because, as mentioned before, Joe Lupica, just retired 13 year CEO of Celestron, is Sunny Optics authorized signing agent for the merger with Meade, and, also mentioned before in Joe's own words from his LinkedIn page: "Upon retiring from Celestron I formed a consulting company to assist companies in reorganizing operations to increase sales & profitability."

The irony is that the brain trust of the boycotted company is the person responsible for the reorganization of Meade, and probably the current best chance Meade has to survive in any form.
 

#2008 Paul G

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 05:48 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2009 ken svp120

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 08:11 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2010 Starhawk

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 08:47 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2011 Mike in Tampa

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2012 EddWen

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:44 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2013 Mike in Tampa

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:51 AM

Post deleted by Cotts
 

#2014 EddWen

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:56 AM

I noticed no one has responded to your query.

Meade Europe was founded by Meade USA but sold several years ago. It was sold to JOC who was then trying to buy Meade USA when Meade got in trouble. They decided not to buy Meade USA, hence the deal now in the works with Sunny Group (Ningbo Optics).

Only Sunny knows what the plans would be for distribution in Europe, and only if the deals goes through.



There is a Meade Europe, and they sell the same stuff as Meade (USA): http://www.meade.de/...telescopes.html (in German). I can imagine this having some impact.

Will Meade Europe be able to sell Meade telescopes? Not only the ones which are made in Asia, but also the ones made in Mexico?

What are the effects of a possible takeover bij Sunny? Does Meade Europe have the kind of rights that Sunny must honor. Will it be possible for Meade Europe to star exporting Meade telescopes to the USA?


 

#2015 bicparker

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:56 AM

I think that except for Andrew's last post and those responses to his comments, there was actually a nice setting of directly on-topic posts.

People here are passionate about astronomy and Meade is involved in a very dispassionate process that does not care about astronomers, astronomy, product development. The actual vested parties in Meade's life are really only concerned with maximizing their economic interests, which is how business works. The response from those who are frustrated by this aspect is akin to someone banging on a computer keyboard expecting to hurt the computer's feelings.

The frustration is even more heightened because the situation is complicated with a lot of detailed financial and regulatory information and procedures that can really make one want to hit the snooze button. But these are necessary to understand if one really wants to comprehend what is actually happening and how Meade arrived at this juncture in their business. Meade's management made several missteps, especially over the past 12 years, and the markets reacted very adversely to those missteps. Those problems did not evolved overnight and, consequently, there will be no overnight solutions.

It is easy to speculate what will happen at this point. It is, in fact, tempting to do so and the subject of this thread has begged that question all along. Nothing we say, however, will really matter until after the September vote and an official announcement is made. I suspect our opinions won't even matter then, either, since I am certain that Sunny has their own specific plans already in place (assuming the merger is completed).
 

#2016 EddWen

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 09:58 AM

Sorry, I was not concerned with your post. My post just followed yours.


Edd,

I was not trying to single any one person out. I was only stating how I've read into the thread as a spectator the last 80 or so pages since I quit posting initially as I didn't have anything to add once the topic went away from the potential CN buyout of Meade in the early pages of this thread.

If i seemed to be singling you out, please accept my apologies as it was not my intention.


 

#2017 ur7x

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:40 AM


* Meade is an easy fix. Good, I have suggested that if you have a good business plan, it should be easy for you to get the financing and jump in.



First let me clarify -deleted by kkokkolis - had I been more aware of Meade's situation in 2011 or 2012, I probably would have done something. Now, it is a tad too late. To be blunt I am busy with two missions (Space missions), and trying to close on two more over the next month. Translation - flight hardware and software going up into space. So, I am a bit busy on other fronts. Still, I wish I had gotten involved earlier.


Curious,

Edd is right, if you want to buy Meade, if you think they are viable, if you think the fix is easy, get financing in order and put in a bid. If Meade was easy to save in 2011 it is almost as easy to save today. I first looked at Meade's financial statements in late 2011 and while you see an easy fix, I saw a company that was bleeding out.

While this is a sad end, and the potential loss of a Telescope technology innovator, this is not new, and not a surprise to just about anyone in this hobby.
 

#2018 Cotts

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:52 AM

Please, citizens, only post about the Meade takeover. Discussion of the discussion has been happening lately. This is off-topic. Discussion of the moderators, admin and our host, Astronomics, has also been happening. This is off-topic. As was announced before, off-topic posts will be removed.

Dave
 

#2019 svdwal

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:53 AM

@Eddwen

Thanks.

Considering that JOC still owns the Meade brand in Europe, I imagine that for Sunny it will be very hard to get a presence in Europe with the Meade brand. That would make Meade USA less valuable. And JOC might want to take that Meade Europe brand to Asia too.
 

#2020 EddWen

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:53 AM

I've been thinking about this some. In my day, distribution paths were closely held secrets by my company and my competitors. Therefore, a valuable asset.

Today's world is much different. In less than an hour, I could probably gather the names, addresses, contact information, etc. for all Meade dealers world-wide.

The intangible worth of a distribution system, the good-will and personal contacts resulting from working with your dealer to make a good deal for the end customer, also had value, though difficult to place dollar amount on.

Having seen situations such as Meade is experiencing now, they put a big strain on the relationship. Dealers that participated in the difficult product launches for Meade's newer products, might be a bit miffed. My company required net 30 days from the dealer for product ordered, and we required that they carry some inventory. So, if I shipped junk to my dealers, and my Accounts Receivable people were requesting payment for the goods (our receivables averaged 45 days) and customers were returning product to the dealers, you can imagine the increased strain on the relationship.

In summary, I would place little value on the system now. It will need to be re-built. Hopefully, the next posting that goes out from Meade (in whatever form) to its distribution system will be a beginning to a new, mutually beneficial relationship.

One point that received little attention in this thread thus far is the value of Meade's distribution channel/relationships. Sunny is an unknown to most of us, but like most PRC manufacturing companies they probably value the established distribution channels that Meade has in the USA. Paying $4-5mn is probably peanuts compared with the value that can be realized by offering an enhanced product line of sporting equipment, telescopes and who knows what else with the Meade brand.

Given that Sunny is not a recognized telescope powerhouse like JOC it seems to me that they will focus more on the lower-cost - higher volume products and do-away with the high-end products. I suppose we will just have to wait to see how this turns out, but I agree with other posters regarding being wary of buying any high-end Meade products at this time.

Al


 

#2021 gmartin02

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:08 AM

Many may already know this, but for the rest that do not, if you go to the following link, you can find all of the SEC filings from Meade from 1997 to the present:

http://www.nasdaq.co...ead/sec-filings
 

#2022 Astronomics

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

Suggesting that Astronomics wanted to "edit" the thread, or hold the masses down, could not be further from the truth. Virtually every mod wanted to lock this thread 50 pages ago due to the course it was taking. It was only at our request, that the thread stay open to keep people informed. However, after looking at the last few pages of mainly deleted posts and people starting to really snipe at one another this thread is no longer in the spirit of what Cloudy Nights is all about. Share information, share your experiences, but don't fight with one another. As none of us work for any of the parties involved then we are all just putting out theories rather than truths. So as all the relevant information has been put out in the thread numerous times, and nothing of any good is currently coming out of the recent posts, I am now changing my mind to leave the thread open and allowing the moderators to lock it. We all need to hope that Meade finds a suitable buyer as it will be a dark day in the hobby if they simply vanish.
 


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