Vitec Group, the company that owns camera accessory brand Manfrotto, has just added two other major brands to its stable: JOBY and Lowepro. Vitec bought the brands from the Dayman Group, bringing them into its already sizable photo equipment portfolio.

Vitec already owns a large collection of brands that operate across the stills and video markets, selling everything from bags, to tripods, to light stands, camera cages, batteries, lighting and video monitors. Well-known Vitec-owned names include Gitzo, Lastolite, Wooden Camera, Colorama, Litepanels and SmallHD.

This acquisition brings the GorillaPod flexible tripod series of camera and mobile supports under Vitec’s control, along with Lowepro’s massive range of bags, cases and pouches.

It’s difficult to see what the purchase of either business brings that’s new to Vitec, as the company already has products in almost all the areas JOBY and Lowepro already supply. It will inevitably reduce the company’s competition though, and as the press release says it will strengthen Vitec’s position as a global supplier. Vitec also says that the purchase, particularly of Lowepro, will give it better access to certain markets (such as the USA) in which it needs a better hold, and that it expects to enjoy better relationships with Apple, Amazon and B&H Photo because of the deal.

The purchase cost Vitec $10.3 million in cash, with an expected total investment of around the deal of $32 million to integrate the new brands. While Vitec Group wants the intellectual property of JOBY and Lowepro and some of the R&D and manufacturing facilities in the Far East, it also expects to save $7 million a year by the end of 2019 by "consolidating and simplifying the business, improving procurement and supply chain management, and leveraging Vitec's distribution platform."

For more information see the Vitec Group, JOBY and Lowepro websites.

Press Release

Vitec Group Acquisition: JOBY and Lowepro Join Vitec’s Leading Brands

Vitec, the leading global provider of products and solutions to the broadcast and photographic markets, is pleased to announce the acquisition of leading photographic brands JOBY and Lowepro.

With a worldwide presence across 22 high quality and recognized brands, JOBY and Lowepro have joined the Vitec Group portfolio as part of the Photographic Division, sitting alongside other Vitec owned, leading photographic brands Manfrotto, Gitzo, Lastolite by Manfrotto and Avenger.

The acquisition will enable Vitec to become the leading global provider of accessories within the newer and fast growing iPhonography and vlogging markets, as well as strengthen their position within the photographic bags market.

JOBY introduced the GorillaPod in 2006, which transformed the camera accessories market, while Lowepro is a market leader in bags designed to protect electronic and photographic devices.

Lowepro remains the recognized market leader of photographic bags, with its focus on supporting the professional outdoor and adventure photographer and will perfectly complement the Vitec owned brand Manfrotto, with its range of photographic bags focused on supporting professional urban and studio photographers.

Vitec plans to integrate the two brands into its Photographic Division, with existing organizational structures under the leadership of Marco Pezzana, Photographic Divisional Chief Executive.

“We are proud to announce that two remarkable brands within the photographic accessories market, JOBY and Lowepro, will join the Vitec Photographic Division,” Pezzana commented. “We pride ourselves on supplying the leading photographic brands to the global market. This natural addition to our business strengthens the already outstanding offering we provide to our partners worldwide.”

He continued, “We believe that our extensive knowledge of the photographic market will enable us to add a wealth of value to these already leading brands. JOBY and Lowepro’s product development expertise, coupled with our established global distribution network, engineering and manufacturing capabilities, creates exciting opportunities for both Vitec Group and our global partners.”