Leica Camera AG acquires majority holding in Leica Shop and WestLicht auctions in Vienna
Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar has acquired almost 75 per cent of the shares of Peter Coeln GesmbH in Vienna. Both companies consider the transaction to be an excellent strategic option for the further expansion of their activities. The transaction also includes the acquisition of two Leica Stores and the WestLicht auction house in Vienna. Both parties have agreed that no financial details will be disclosed. Peter Coeln will continue to occupy the position of managing director of Peter Coeln GesmbH.
Founded 23 years ago by Peter Coeln, the Leica Shop was the first of its kind in the world and specialised in photographic collectables, used equipment and the sale of new Leica products. In recent years, the company has built up an excellent reputation as an expert in buying and selling historic cameras, photographs and other photographic and optical collectables. The company possess an immense store of know-how in the collectors’ and second-hand markets and extensive expertise in auctioneering and online sales. As a consequence of this acquisition of a majority holding, Leica Camera AG is able to strengthen its position in this area and benefit from the market expertise of Peter Coeln GesmbH and its employees. The company is in possession of an extensive store of vintage cameras and accessories.
Auctions of historic cameras and collectors’ items are organised and held by the world’s most prominent auction house for cameras, WestLicht Photographica Auction. Many record prices were achieved at past auctions, for instance the world record for the most expensive camera ever sold – a Leica 0 Series built in 1923 (2.16 million euros). The auction house, which also holds auctions for photos, was founded 12 years ago and is a part of Peter Coeln GesmbH. Neither the non-profit organisation for the advancement of photography, the Verein zur Förderung der Fotografie Westlicht, also founded by Peter Coeln, nor the OstLicht GesmbH photo gallery, founded two years ago, will be affected by the transaction.
In the words of Alfred Schopf, chairman of the Executive Board at Leica Camera AG, ‘The acquisition of a majority holding in Peter Coeln GesmbH is a unique opportunity for Leica Camera AG to further expand and bolster its strong presence in the market for photographic collectables and raise awareness for the Leica brand in this particular segment. At the same time, we will benefit enormously from Peter Coeln’s substantial expertise in the sale of new and used Leica products, auctions and online trading with used cameras.
Peter Coeln, managing director of Peter Coeln GesmbH, said, ‘I am delighted that our highly successful partnership with Leica Camera AG will continue in this way and that we can now create synergies that reinforce the intrinsic and enduring value of old and new Leica products. As always, we will continue to pay particular attention to customer service in our specialist stores, in online trading and at auctions.’
About Leica Camera
Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellent quality. In combination with innovative technologies, all Leica products fulfil a common objective: better pictures, wherever perception and visualization matter. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hessen in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal and operates its own worldwide network of regional organisations, Leica Retail Stores, Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies.