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Hasselblad sold again!

Joseph Wisniewski , Jun 30, 2011; 12:50 p.m.

About once every ten years, Hasselblad's current owner gives up on the venerable, but increasingly irrelevant, iconic brand and finds someone to take them off their hands. This time, it's Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P.

Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P. has agreed to acquire 100 percent of the shares of the Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad Group from Hong Kong-based Shriro Group. Shriro, a long-standing Hasselblad distributor in the Asia-Pacific region, has held ownership of the company since 2003.

There's a lot more, I'll just past in a couple of highlights...

Hasselblad is the world’s most renowned camera brand. We are proud to have such an iconic brand in our portfolio and are convinced that with solid financial support and a suitable growth strategy, Ventizz can further strengthen Hasselblad's position as the first class producer of medium format digital camera systems. Furthermore, we plan to develop Hasselblad cameras to appeal to a wider circle of ambitious photographers“, said Dr. Helmut Vorndran, Managing Partner and CEO of Ventizz Capital Partners AG, the exclusive advisory to the Ventizz funds.

Now, what do you suppose the "wider circle of ambitious photographers" is?

As a strong financial partner, Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P. will support Hasselblad and its management team in entering new market segments as well as in the further technological development of existing product lines.

"New market segments"? This reminds me of Leica. Hey, if Panasonic can get a couple of hundred dollars extra for making their point-and-shoots in black with a red dot, well, there's a lot of Fuji point-and-shoots that could be marketed as Blads...

The timeline...

  • 1972 Säfveån AB (a Swedish investment firm)
  • 1985 Incentive AB (a Swedish investment firm)
  • 1996 UBS AG (a Swiss investment firm) and CINven (a British investment firm)
  • 2003 Shriro Group (a Hong Kong heavy equipment manufacturer, and Hasselblads Asia/Pacific distributor).
  • 2011 Ventizz Capital Fund IV L.P (a German investment firm, part of VENTIZ Capital Partners Advisory AG).

It looks like it used to take an investment company 12-13 years to give up on Blad. Now it's down to 7-8 years.


Starvy Goodfellows , Jun 30, 2011; 01:12 p.m.

Maybe, one day a a camera manufacturer would buy the brand and diversify its range!

Joseph Wisniewski , Jun 30, 2011; 01:24 p.m.

I was always hoping Fuji would. They design and build all the "camera stuff", and I'm sure that they could either absorb the Imacon part of Blad or replace it with something better of their own.

I still remember when Fuji launched the DX-2000, with the biggest MF sensor on the market, and the only thing to not come from Kodak or Philips/DALSA. The sample files I have are the best thing I've ever seen from a MF back. And, unlike Kodak and DALSA, Fuji managed to put useful liveview into their Super CCD sensors.

William Kahn , Jun 30, 2011; 02:25 p.m.

The idea of a Hasselblad P&S boggles the mind...

Tom Harvey , Jun 30, 2011; 03:46 p.m.

Yeah! A Mini-blad would be sweet!

Dan Ferrel , Jun 30, 2011; 11:05 p.m.

Tom Harvey , Jul 01, 2011; 10:05 a.m.

I want one of those! Then again, I also want one of those PLGs (Petite Lap Giraffes) from the DirecTV commercials...

Michael Axel , Jul 03, 2011; 12:59 a.m.

I wouldn't be so harsh on Hasselblad. It's a great brand that anyone would be proud to have. Pano cameras, scanners, printers, or any number of products. And for those who counted out Leica, their stock is up over 50% this year. Innovation with a good financial partner can make for some amazing products.

As for Ventizz, I could see a solid marriage between their extensive electronics portfolio, and Hasselblad's quality control and manufacturing. It might be just what Hasselblad needs.

paulie smith , Jul 18, 2011; 04:59 p.m.

50+ years of Square and trying to convince the world that was God's personal photo choice and they go 645 with digital.
Nothing that happens to the HassieHypocrites is a surprise.

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