Hasselblad owners, are you ready to own a Chinese camera? If this report from Luminous Landscape is correct, you already are. and no this is not April’s fools.
According to Luminous Landscape DJI has increased their shares part in Swedish camera maker Hasselblad and are now the majority share holders. This practically makes them the owners of the company.
Back in November we reported that DJI was strategically investing in Hasselblad, and the brilliant analysis from Kevin Raber now explains why. Moving from stupid blinged camera rebrands to a state of the art medium format mirrorless camera like the H6D takes a lot of money and Hassy just did not have the funds to do it. According to Luminous Landscape:
Perry, is a brilliant man and really believed in his new products and especially the team that was behind him. He was in a jam. Hasselblad, needed money to produce the cameras that photographers were ordering. They went to the investors (The VC firm) and asked for money but they didn’t have any more to give. At this point I can imagine that all these investors wanted was the payout. Not having much choice, Hasselblad had to look for a source of mone. They found that source in DJI. We all know DJI as the wildly successful Chinese drone manufacturer.
They obtained the cash needed from DJI and things began to move forward. A lot up to this point was made public as DJI became a minority shareholder in Hasselblad. This happened in November 2015
But that was not enough and Hasselblad needed more money to finish the H6D. According to LL, Sadly, the owners did not have money ot put in and so DJI became the majority stake holder, practically owning the company:
You are probably asking yourself (as I did), why this camera took so long to get out the door? First, designing a camera requires a lot of time and money. Second, the camera has to be tested; after all, it needs to work. Third, firmware, software, and image quality all need to be at a high level. Releasing a camera before it is ready can spell as much trouble (if not more) than releasing it late. It was a no-win.
Hasselblad still needed to stay afloat. The investors wanted their money and they were not willing to contribute any more to this cause. What now?
Simple, the minority shareholder becomes the majority shareholder. DJI now owns the majority share of Hasselblad
While this is still not public domain data, LL says that it has been validated by a number of sources including practically any and everyone who works for Hassy.
If that report is true, Hasselblad is likely to change. Just the cultural difference between a Chinese management and a Swedish management is enough to make a big change, but add to that that DJI is not “just” an investor. DJI is heavily invested in the camera industry and will probably want to max their investment.
Of course, this could all turn out to be wrong, but LL is pretty confident that this is an accurate description of reality and I tend to trust them. What do you think will be next for Hassy?
[the full report, and some brilliant analysis by Kevin Raber is over at luminous-landscape]
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