A 45 percent chunk of Leica is up for sale, and Zeiss may be in line to buy it.
The report originated with Reuters, who notes that Blackstone, an investment group with a 45 percent stake in the well-known camera company, is currently looking to sell its share of Leica, with Zeiss being a prime candidate and the other 55 percent remaining with the Kaufmann family. The process has not yet entered a bidding phase, though the report notes that both Zeiss and possibly Huawei have shown interest. Nonetheless, the source in the Reuters report noted that Zeiss' interest is contingent upon obtaining a majority share in the company. However, the Kaufmann family has indicated an active interest in the future of the company, which may hamper such a deal.
While nothing is set in stone and it's not clear if the issue of majority stake can be worked out, such a purchase could represent could represent a huge paradigm shift in the industry and could present some interesting new horizons if Zeiss brings their knowledge to the table with Leica's products. At this time, Leica Camera is valued at approximated $830 million, with a 45 percent share of that being about $375 million.