Tiffen Expands Market Presence With
Acquisition of the Kalimar Company
PMA, Las Vegas, February 3, 2000- The Kalimar Company of St. Louis, Missouri was acquired by the Tiffen Company of Long Island on December 13, 1999. Both companies specialize in supplying photo/imaging accessories to amateur and professional photographers. With this most recent acquisition, Tiffen expands its product base into a number of new lines and also gains entre into key mass distribution channels. Kalimar's facilities and staff will remain in St. Louis, with Larry Lipsitz continuing his senior management role. Bob Lipsitz, founder of Kalimar, will serve as a consultant to the new organization.
The Tiffen Company, founded in 1938, is known for its photographic filters, digital camera accessories, Davis & Sanford tripods, Domke bags, Saunders Easels, Saunders/LPL Enlargers, Silver Pixel Press and KODAK Books, Stroboframe flash brackets, and a number of other accessory lines. Tiffen also has a long-established relationship with the motion picture and television industries, having won two Academy Awards for technical achievement in optical filters and an Emmy Award for engineering excellence.
According to CEO Steve Tiffen, "Kalimar was a natural partner for us. They're a key element of our long-term growth strategy, and they broaden our product line considerably. Equally important, they'll help expand the reach of the Tiffen brand into mass consumer markets, both in the U.S. and worldwide." Founded in 1952, the Kalimar Company is known as a manufacturer and worldwide distributor of cameras, electronic flash units, binoculars and lenses. In 1955, Kalimar became the first company in the world to market "skin-packed" products, which soon evolved into today's retail necessity, the blister pack. In 1993, Kalimar was licensed by Mattel to manufacture and distribute "Barbie" cameras, binoculars and accessories. In 1997, they also became a licensee of Warner Brothers to manufacture and distribute "Looney Tunes" cameras, binoculars and accessories. These licensing agreements have strengthened Kalimar's presence in many worldwide markets. "The union with Tiffen provides us with a quantum leap in products and resources that would have taken too long to reach on our own. And given the fast-changing nature of our industry and the changing expectations of suppliers and retailers, this was the right time, and more importantly, the right company to join with to assure continued success in the photographic business," says Larry Lipsitz of Kalimar.
The Kalimar sales force, along with the Tiffen sales force, will also take on direct sales of the new "KODAK Gear" and "KODAK Pro Gear" lines. These products represent a strategic alliance between Eastman Kodak Company and Tiffen that utilizes the strengths of both companies to extend the Kodak brand and increase Kodak's retail presence even further. Tiffen's photo accessory expertise made them the logical supplier for Kodak.