Phase One and product managers of medium format maker Leaf are in the process of buying key elements relating to the Leaf brand from owners Kodak. These brand rights, research and development and production capabilities are being bought by a new company called Leaf Imaging Ltd which is 100% owned by Phase One. The new entity will have access to Kodak's intellectual property portfolio via a licensing agreement. The new company will continue to make and develop the Leaf Aptus range of digital backs but will not initially sell the AFi-II camera system.

"The camera system will not be supported from Day One," says Henrik O. Håkonsson President and CEO of Phase One, which already owns a controlling stake in camera and lens maker Mamiya Digital Imaging: "We have said to our Leaf colleagues that we will evaluate the future of this camera system but we are not currently convinced of its potential."

Existing users of Leaf need not be concerned, he said: "There is a diverse market out there with different opinions and ways of working. It is important for us to offer a range of options to these people and offer a range of different solutions. We will include more and more technology based on the same engineering platform but with Leaf and Phase One products giving the customers the experience and user interface they're used to."

In addition to these research and production synergies, savings will come through this joint development and by selling and supporting both product lines through a single sales, distribution and support channel.

Press Release:

Leaf Imaging -- a new Phase One company

COPENHAGEN and TEL AVIV, June 25, 2009 -- Phase One A/S, in conjunction with senior management employees of Leaf, today announced that they have created a new entity, Leaf Imaging Ltd., to purchase certain assets of the Leaf camera business.

The assets include the “Leaf” brand product names, engineering design and production tools. The new entity will also enter into an intellectual property license with Eastman Kodak Company that is royalty-bearing to Kodak. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In collaboration with Phase One, high end Leaf digital camera equipment will continue to be developed in Israel and marketed under the “Leaf” brand through a global network of specialized and dedicated value added resellers.

Leaf high quality digital camera backs with up to 56 Mega pixels and superior resolution and image quality can interface to all leading medium and large format cameras.

“We are committed to exciting future developments for the Leaf brand of products through innovative engineering, worldwide marketing and customer service, said Henrik O. Håkonsson President and CEO, Phase One. “Leaf customers will benefit from the many synergies with Phase One.”

“Since introducing the world’s first digital camera back in 1992, Leaf has been recognized as a worldwide leader in the professional photography market. Our extensive digital imaging and color management knowledge, combined with Phase One’s software and hardware capabilities creates a unique opportunity for the world’s leading photographers,” said Dov Kalinski, General Manager, Leaf.