Orion acquires Meade


Troy Riedel
 

Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.


Tony Mascolo
 

Hello all,

Hope you are all well.

Wow!!  With all the businesses we have lost, at least they are not going to go away forever.  Meade customer service has been slow to pretty non-existent for years, you should not lose a telescope or mount for months while they drag their feet figuring out what to do with you.  Orion is a much better entity to buy them than some private equity firm that would gut them for their IP and run them into the ground.  I believe that Orion will actually improve on Meade, especially their customer service and support.  Orion is so much better at customer support than Meade has been in the 2000s.  Hopefully Orion is able to stay in business themselves after this merger.  I hope they are not too big.

Summary of all that....Could be worse.  Might be better.

Later,

Tony Mascolo

On 6/2/2021 6:08 AM, Troy Riedel wrote:
Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.



Richard Saunders
 

I've never bought anything from Meade so don't really have an opinion of the quality of their products or their customer service.  On the other hand, I've bought a couple of small/beginner scopes from Orion as well as several accessories and would rate them above average for customer service and the quality of their products.  I recently called to see it I could send them my daughter-in-law's Orion Intelliscope 8" dob to them for an overhaul and they said they would be happy to service it.  The major issues were that both the secondary and primary mirrors were way out of alignment and the primary had been clamped down with too much pressure causing deformation of the mirror.  I wasn't aware of the latter and getting the scope back to the performing its optimum was beyond my capability.  The folks in their tech department were very nice on the phone and they even sent the scope back on their dime.  The only negative was that it took them  3 months to do the overhaul. I've purchased a couple of items that I ended up returning and had no problem getting my money back.  Solid company.  They'll probably help Meade become a more prominent supplier of astronomy equipment.


jimcoble2000
 

Hmm. Not much at this moment besides two old companies, well established, in a pretty small field.Orion has managed to maintain management independence from Chinese ownership if not their supply line. I am not sure of the status, prior to the merger, for Meade.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 6:08:31 AM EDT, Troy Riedel <troy.riedel@...> wrote:


Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.


jimcoble2000
 

I agree with the comment on customer service and Meade. Orion was always light years ahead there.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 9:34:32 AM EDT, Tony Mascolo <tsmascolo@...> wrote:


Hello all,

Hope you are all well.

Wow!!  With all the businesses we have lost, at least they are not going to go away forever.  Meade customer service has been slow to pretty non-existent for years, you should not lose a telescope or mount for months while they drag their feet figuring out what to do with you.  Orion is a much better entity to buy them than some private equity firm that would gut them for their IP and run them into the ground.  I believe that Orion will actually improve on Meade, especially their customer service and support.  Orion is so much better at customer support than Meade has been in the 2000s.  Hopefully Orion is able to stay in business themselves after this merger.  I hope they are not too big.

Summary of all that....Could be worse.  Might be better.

Later,

Tony Mascolo

On 6/2/2021 6:08 AM, Troy Riedel wrote:
Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.



jimcoble2000
 

Next time the scope goes out Richard there are folks in the club who are quite good at fixing mirror problems including clip tension. Alignment of the primary mirror is a user operation. With experience, the secondary is user fixable though not intuitive at all and requires a bit of experience. The primary regularly needs to be tweaked a bit (most check it or tweak it every session).

Drawing the primary too far back is not unusual as many tighten the adjustment screws every time they collimate pulling the mirror too far back over time.

There should be about the thickness of a dollar bill between the mirror and the mirror clip. You should be able to pull the dollar easily out (forget credit cards) from between the clip and mirror otherwise you pinch the mirror edge.

I will admit the secondaries that Orion uses, though good optically, are difficult, though not at all impossible to align. You do have to use some twisting usually if things get way out for the secondary mirror. That is a design drawback of the spider and the three screw system Orion uses. 4 screws are much easier to work with. Total alignment should take about 30 to 45 minutes if you have to mess with the secondary.  Stan is quite good at secondary alignment with a laser. I prefer the old method of cheshire and site tube. Both methods will not agree so use only one. There are a couple of ways to align the optical path as it does not run down the center of the tube.

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 9:47:46 AM EDT, Richard Saunders <rsaun58043@...> wrote:


I've never bought anything from Meade so don't really have an opinion of the quality of their products or their customer service.  On the other hand, I've bought a couple of small/beginner scopes from Orion as well as several accessories and would rate them above average for customer service and the quality of their products.  I recently called to see it I could send them my daughter-in-law's Orion Intelliscope 8" dob to them for an overhaul and they said they would be happy to service it.  The major issues were that both the secondary and primary mirrors were way out of alignment and the primary had been clamped down with too much pressure causing deformation of the mirror.  I wasn't aware of the latter and getting the scope back to the performing its optimum was beyond my capability.  The folks in their tech department were very nice on the phone and they even sent the scope back on their dime.  The only negative was that it took them  3 months to do the overhaul. I've purchased a couple of items that I ended up returning and had no problem getting my money back.  Solid company.  They'll probably help Meade become a more prominent supplier of astronomy equipment.


Stu Beaber
 

I have neutral emotions...I just a few months ago sold my 10" LX200 OTA, so now I have nothing with Meade's name on it...for that matter I have nothing with Orion's name on it either. I bought a ton of stuff from Orion in the past and their service was always miles ahead of Meade. The thing I enjoyed most from Orion was the 10" intelliscope. I could even be talked into buying another one of those one day...soon? Being a "goto" imager, I kinda enjoyed the "push to" intelliscope. It satisfied my "visual" needs...

Stu


On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 6:08 AM Troy Riedel <troy.riedel@...> wrote:
Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.


jimcoble2000
 

The ten inch may be their best scope. Kent's has a superb mirror (matter of luck usually).

On Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 12:03:50 PM EDT, Stu Beaber <wd4sel@...> wrote:


I have neutral emotions...I just a few months ago sold my 10" LX200 OTA, so now I have nothing with Meade's name on it...for that matter I have nothing with Orion's name on it either. I bought a ton of stuff from Orion in the past and their service was always miles ahead of Meade. The thing I enjoyed most from Orion was the 10" intelliscope. I could even be talked into buying another one of those one day...soon? Being a "goto" imager, I kinda enjoyed the "push to" intelliscope. It satisfied my "visual" needs...

Stu

On Wed, Jun 2, 2021 at 6:08 AM Troy Riedel <troy.riedel@...> wrote:
Thoughts?


Orion Telescopes & Binoculars
89 Hangar Way
Watsonville, CA 95076 USA

June 1, 2021

RE: Reorganization of Meade Instruments Corp.

Optronic Technologies, Inc. (dba Orion Telescopes & Binoculars) ("Orion") (est. 1975) today announced the formation of Meade Acquisition Corp. (dba "Meade Instruments"), an affiliate of Orion that has acquired substantially all of the assets of Meade Instruments Corp. ("Meade") (est. 1972), following the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.

For over four decades Meade has been one of the world's largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers, working closely with independently owned and operated retailers serving both casual and professional astronomers.

Peter Moreo, President of Orion, and the President of Meade Instruments, said, "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Meade employees, customers, and suppliers, as the next phase of Meade's corporate journey begins."

As a result of the reorganization of Meade, Meade Instruments has acquired the Meade trademarks, and plans to continue development, manufacturing and distribution of products under the Meade brand.

Meade Instruments intends to maintain the Meade B2B selling strategy, delivering Meade-branded products to (and on behalf of) authorized retailers and suppliers.

Meade Instruments will honor Meade product warranties, and in conjunction with authorized dealers and distributors, Meade Instruments will make commercially reasonable efforts to provide customer support, repair services, and parts for Meade products that are not covered by warranty.

Meade Instruments plans to invest in growing the customer support staff, enhancing product quality, developing new products and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The formation of Meade Instruments affiliates two iconic brands that have served explorers of celestial objects and the natural world, from research scientists to backyard observers, for almost 50 years - and will provide for new and expanded opportunities for increased competition in the astronomy marketplace.


Troy Riedel
 

Hey Jim,

Re: Meade's ownership situ prior to this

Meade merged (or took on investment from?) the Chinese company Ningbo Sunny.  In late-November 2019, Meade & Ningbo were charged with price fixing, suppressing competition in the U.S. consumer market (coincidentally sued by Orion).  A few days later they filed for bankruptcy protection and have been in bankruptcy since (Meade tried to purchase Celestron in 2001 when Celestron's former owner Tasco filed for bankruptcy).
 
The new Orion/Meade you might say is now the "most American company" if you only judge by ownership.  Ok, technically Celestron is owned by SW Technology in Delaware (which is owned by Synta Technology of TAIWAN - a joint Taiwanese-Canadian company - who established Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd in China as their manufacturing company and a place where a lot of astronomical optical equipment is made regardless of brand ... Synta even formed Sky-Watcher which is a lot of "Orion" gear that's marketed outside the U.S. borders).  Oh what a twisted web we weave.  Ownership in 2021 is so confusing ... Fiat owns an "American" car company while "American" car companies "import" cars from beyond U.S. borders to the U.S.?  Harley-Davison assembles motorcycles in the U.S. but we know a lot of the parts are made outside the U.S.

I digressed - so back to Orion ... a few years ago Orion employees bought the company, however they have never "manufactured" anything (years ago they sold Celestron, Tele 
Vue, Vixen - along with their own Orion brand but have since gotten away from selling other brands).  Orion's products come from China ... not just Synta, but other Chinese optical companies as well (though the majority is from Synta).  Yesterday when Orion acquired Meade Instruments they obviously acquired Meade's Tijuana Mexico manufacturing plant.

I agree with others - Meade "support" has been an oxymoron.  Meade has nowhere to go but up in that regard.

It will be interesting ... will Orion become the exclusive place to buy Meade?  How will they mesh ... integrate ... or abandon some product lines Meade vs. Orion?  Given the fact Meade was in bankruptcy, at least it appears the iconic brand will survive.  The next two years will be interesting.


jimcoble2000
 

Thanks. A very concise history. I recall the price fixing suit and knew Orion was a party in one of the suits. These mergers usually seem to follow financial difficulties and seem to serve as  way to preserve the name and tradition. I always thought Sky Watcher was quite similar to the Orion line.

As Stan would say in his homespun wisdommy way (is that a word?) It's all made in telescope factory number 16. I believe it is located next to Lap Top factory 32 or nearby.Emoji

It seems manufacture to scale requires a global supply chain. The only companies that can possibly claim national affiliation are the cottage makers but even they must outsource parts that are not produced anywhere else. I always gently laughed at those who "Bought American" especially in the car world. Little do they suspect but it is pretty obvious by now that it is indeed a global economy with all the good and bad that goes with it. Like it or not here we are. There may be some advantage though to trade wars and disputes vice the ones that use bullets.

On Thursday, June 3, 2021, 10:19:42 AM EDT, Troy Riedel <troy.riedel@...> wrote:


Hey Jim,

Re: Meade's ownership situ prior to this

Meade merged (or took on investment from?) the Chinese company Ningbo Sunny.  In late-November 2019, Meade & Ningbo were charged with price fixing, suppressing competition in the U.S. consumer market (coincidentally sued by Orion).  A few days later they filed for bankruptcy protection and have been in bankruptcy since (Meade tried to purchase Celestron in 2001 when Celestron's former owner Tasco filed for bankruptcy).
 
The new Orion/Meade you might say is now the "most American company" if you only judge by ownership.  Ok, technically Celestron is owned by SW Technology in Delaware (which is owned by Synta Technology of TAIWAN - a joint Taiwanese-Canadian company - who established Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd in China as their manufacturing company and a place where a lot of astronomical optical equipment is made regardless of brand ... Synta even formed Sky-Watcher which is a lot of "Orion" gear that's marketed outside the U.S. borders).  Oh what a twisted web we weave.  Ownership in 2021 is so confusing ... Fiat owns an "American" car company while "American" car companies "import" cars from beyond U.S. borders to the U.S.?  Harley-Davison assembles motorcycles in the U.S. but we know a lot of the parts are made outside the U.S.

I digressed - so back to Orion ... a few years ago Orion employees bought the company, however they have never "manufactured" anything (years ago they sold Celestron, Tele 
Vue, Vixen - along with their own Orion brand but have since gotten away from selling other brands).  Orion's products come from China ... not just Synta, but other Chinese optical companies as well (though the majority is from Synta).  Yesterday when Orion acquired Meade Instruments they obviously acquired Meade's Tijuana Mexico manufacturing plant.

I agree with others - Meade "support" has been an oxymoron.  Meade has nowhere to go but up in that regard.

It will be interesting ... will Orion become the exclusive place to buy Meade?  How will they mesh ... integrate ... or abandon some product lines Meade vs. Orion?  Given the fact Meade was in bankruptcy, at least it appears the iconic brand will survive.  The next two years will be interesting.


Troy Riedel
 

Jim,

So true.  Just look at the U.S. auto manufacturers shutting down production lines due to computer chip shortages ... from China and Taiwan (COVID-19 closures and fires in the plants) ... and the fact the Administration is investing $$$ to simulate "local" USA production of chips.  Yes, yes ... definitely a global economy & astronomy is surely not immune to this.  Stan is spot-on!