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Author Topic: Ilford Imaging financial struggle  (Read 6012 times)
francois
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« on: July 02, 2013, 04:36:10 AM »
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The original article is in french or german only but here's Google translation:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.swissinfo.ch%2Ffre%2Fnouvelles_agence%2Finternational%2FIlford_Imaging_a_Marly_%2528FR%2529_au_plus_mal%2C_selon_Employes_Suisse.html%3Fcid%3D36329382
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Francois
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 05:17:19 AM »
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Thanks for the heads-up Francois - really bad news (I went to the French language source to make sure the translation is reasonably accurate, and it is). Interesting this comes soon after they finished issuing a whole new line of papers we reviewed on this website. One hopes there will be a financial workout allowing them to survive, because if they go under, there will be a reduction of competition in the production of certain papers and prices will increase.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
francois
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 05:49:43 AM »
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There's an update on the Swiss Info website but the outlook doesn't look good:

Original link (french):
http://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/nouvelles_agence/international/Fribourg:_les_220_employes_dIlford_prives_de_salaire_depuis_juib.html?cid=36329382

Google translate link:
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.swissinfo.ch%2Ffre%2Fnouvelles_agence%2Finternational%2FFribourg%3A_les_220_employes_dIlford_prives_de_salaire_depuis_juib.html%3Fcid%3D36329382

Edit: type correction
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 05:59:16 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 05:57:01 AM »
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Indeed - unless they find a path to a bail-out rather soon it looks as if they may be history; prospects of a bailout from any one with capital to invest would depend on there being a realistic business plan with profitability at the end of a (not to long) tunnel. What a shame.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Czornyj
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 06:03:36 AM »
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AFAIK Ilford has merged with Tecco, so there's no need to worry.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 06:12:28 AM »
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Marcin, this gets very interesting - in April Ilford announces that it is BUYING Tecco as part of a "strategic alliance" and come June, Ilford can't pay its employees their salaries and has informed the Swiss civil courts of its insolvency status. None of this hangs together in any kind of business logic I'm familiar with. http://www.ilford.com/en/about-us/press/ilford-group-ag-acquires-tecco-gmbh/
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
francois
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 06:19:21 AM »
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FWIW, directly from the official commerce registry, the main shareholder is Paradigm Global Partners LLP (No. OC318072), in London (GB).
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Francois
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 06:27:03 AM »
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Yes, they do corporate turnarounds and financial restructurings (amongst other things), and if the results don't churn a satisfactory RoE after a certain time period and they don't see a way forward to do so, they dump the investment. That's "business".
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
francois
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2013, 06:32:01 AM »
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That's "business".

True, business as usual!

The 220 employees are still at work and state will provide salaries for the month of June but time is running out.

Edit> for those interested, here's the link to the official registry: https://appls.fr.ch/hrcmatic/hrcintapp/externalCompanyReport.action?companyOfrcId13=CH-217-0140459-8&ofrcLanguage=4

Entries are in German. Obviously, it must be the official language in Fribourg!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 06:35:47 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2013, 10:50:11 AM »
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Next to Tecco they bought two other prepress proofing supplier companies in 2013; CMA Graphix Group and Colorportal. Tecco distributes Fogra certified proofing papers as well. I think they tried to get big in that market which may have higher margins. Looks like a desperate attempt considering the graphic market as a whole. Packaging industry goes more or less steady, the rest declines.

I should have updated my information of paper suppliers, for Ilford I still had Oji papers as their owners but that has changed in 2010.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2012, 500+ inkjet media white spectral plots.
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Simon J.A. Simpson
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« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2013, 12:47:08 PM »
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For the sake of clarity it should be pointed-out that there are two Ilford companies: one based in Switzerland, ILFORD Imaging Switzerland GmbH http://www.ilford.com/en/ manufacturers of the Galerie range of inkjet papers (and others); and Ilford Photo UK http://www.ilfordphoto.com/home.asp who manufacture inkjet papers and traditional black & white darkroom materials.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2013, 12:59:15 PM »
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The referenced news items which I read in both the original French and the English translation are very clear that the troubled enterprise is Ilford Imaging Switzerland, town of Marly in the Canton of Fribourg; this is the enterprise most of us would be concerned about for the reason you mention - they are responsible for the Galerie Gold range. It would be of some interest to know whether this problem also affects the English operation, which is owned by Harman Technology, company created by a group of former Ilford managers who bought the Ilford name, and B&W business, etc from a receiver in bankruptcy in 2005. Let us hope some kind of clever financial engineering like this can rescue the Swiss operation.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2013, 06:24:47 PM »
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Wikipedia is your friend:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ilford_Photo   Funny I never knew the full history of Ilford and for the longest time thought it to be a subsidiary of CIBA chemicals which later became Ciba-Geigy.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2013, 07:10:20 PM »
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Alan, that article is quite incomplete. You are right insofar asCiba A.G. owned Ilford for quite some time. http://www.ilford.com/en/about-us/history-heritage/
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 06:50:46 AM »
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Alan, that article is quite incomplete. You are right insofar asCiba A.G. owned Ilford for quite some time. http://www.ilford.com/en/about-us/history-heritage/
Thanks.  Interesting that ICI which were the big chemical company in the UK bought Ilford first and then Ciba took an equity interest and later fully acquired the company.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 07:03:39 AM »
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The fact appears to be, upon reading this tortured history, that Ilford and its various incarnations has been a financially troubled enterprise for a very long time. It would be good to understand why - whether it is due to market constraints, or poor managerial decisions within an otherwise viable market. The latter is more easily corrected than the former, and would be of crucial interest to any group interested in bailing them out.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 06:46:51 PM »
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Mark - The explanation is pretty simple.  Kodak did a much better job of marketing than Ilford.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 07:57:13 PM »
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Mark - The explanation is pretty simple.  Kodak did a much better job of marketing than Ilford.

Simple? And where is Kodak today?
Totally different situations. Kodak was totally out of touch with the market as the digital revolution set-in. Ilford makes and sells a good product line responding to today's expectations in the market for inkjet printing. The answer lies elsewhere.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
JohnBrew
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2013, 06:30:51 AM »
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This is NOT good news. This would be a tremendous loss to the photographic community. I depend on GFS for my small prints.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 06:40:09 AM »
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This is NOT good news. This would be a tremendous loss to the photographic community. I depend on GFS for my small prints.

I agree, but there is a direct replacement - Canson Baryta Photographique is almost identical. My concern is that GFS is a very popular paper - for good reason - and when it becomes unavailable Canson will be positioned to raise its prices. Here in Toronto Canson was initially more expensive, then a price decrease was implemented to keep it competitive with GFS. When that pressure is gone it's quite predictable what's likely to happen.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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