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07-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Wolf/Ritz now partners with Nikon!

As noted from another thread...
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-talk/67953-rest-ritzs-closing-up-...tml#post685348

Wolf/Ritz is doing another down size and closing some more stores and although I have no real evidence but I did speak with a friend/manager and his response was that Nikon now owns 1/2 of Wolf/Ritz Camera.I am sure others here can confirm or deny.....also said no bargains like last time......

Heard it here first.......

07-28-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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That's interesting. I checked Google and this is what I came up with: Ritz Camera president, group buys chain in auction | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

I imagine there's much more to that story. I did read also that Nikon was their largest creditor--by a wide margin.
07-28-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JHfwp Quote
That's interesting. I checked Google and this is what I came up with: Ritz Camera president, group buys chain in auction | Deals | Mergers & Acquisitions | Reuters

I imagine there's much more to that story. I did read also that Nikon was their largest creditor--by a wide margin.
This looks like one of those Golden Parachute deals. Drive the company into bankruptcy to avoid the creditors and then turn around and sell the company back to your self.
07-28-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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Didn't Ritz owe Canon and Nikon enough money to buy the chain out at least 3 times over?

07-28-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwbigd Quote
This looks like one of those Golden Parachute deals. Drive the company into bankruptcy to avoid the creditors and then turn around and sell the company back to your self.
Yeah, part of me is surprised there are investors out there that would believe in a man who just ran their business into the ground for a second time, but I guess stranger things have happened.

Last edited by JHfwp; 07-29-2009 at 12:53 AM.
07-28-2009, 08:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Didn't Ritz owe Canon and Nikon enough money to buy the chain out at least 3 times over?
Don't think the numbers were that big......around 14 mil owed to Nikon was what I thought I remembered but could be wrong.......

EDIT:Went and looked for the numbers and found these..
The three biggest creditors listed are: Nikon Inc., owed $26.6 million; Canon USA Inc., owed $13.7 million; and Fuji Photo Film USA Inc., owed $8.4 million.

and I found these numbers here...
http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2009/02/23/daily5.html?s=industry

It just amazes me how a company could be so upside down...

Last edited by Motorman; 07-28-2009 at 09:07 PM.
07-28-2009, 09:16 PM   #7
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Ritz and Group pay $26 million for chain

QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Didn't Ritz owe Canon and Nikon enough money to buy the chain out at least 3 times over?
They owed Nikon over $26 million and Canon alomst $14 million. Interesting that the bid and the debt to Nikon were almost identical. I wonder if they will carry Pentax without trade credit

February 23rd Reuters article on Ritz Camera bankruptcy

"Among the largest unsecured creditors are Nikon Inc (7731.T), with a $26.6 million claim, and Canon USA Inc (7751.T), with a $13.7 million claim, the bankruptcy petition shows."

The bidding group including David Ritz paid $26 million dollars for the chain, planning to keep only 163 of the 375 remaining stores open - down from 800 stores and 130 Boater's World stores just 6 months ago.

"Ritz Camera CEO Buys Company for $24 Million

A group including company Chief Executive Officer David Ritz was approved yesterday to buy Ritz Camera Centers Inc. for $16.25 million cash and a $7.8 million note. The buyer will operate at least 163 of remaining 375 stores. The 800 locations at the outset of bankruptcy in February made Ritz the largest chain of camera stores in the U.S. Ritz decided to liquidate or sell the business to a going-concern buyer. Ritz previously generated $40 million from selling all 129 Boaterís World Marine Centers. Debt of Beltsville, Maryland-based Ritz includes $54.5 million on a secured revolving credit agreement where Wachovia Bank NA serves as agent. There is also $13.1 million owing on subordinated debentures. The petition said that assets and debt are both less than $500 million. The case is In re Ritz Camera Centers Inc., 09-10617, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).


from Bloomberg News - Scroll down to story or Find Ritz

07-28-2009, 09:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Motorman Quote
Don't think the numbers were that big......around 14 mil owed to Nikon was what I thought I remembered but could be wrong.......

EDIT:Went and looked for the numbers and found these..
The three biggest creditors listed are: Nikon Inc., owed $26.6 million; Canon USA Inc., owed $13.7 million; and Fuji Photo Film USA Inc., owed $8.4 million.

and I found these numbers here...
Ritz Camera, parent of Wolf Camera, files for bankruptcy - San Francisco Business Times:

It just amazes me how a company could be so upside down...
RCI had over $1 billion revenue, and the camera stores were marginally profitable and able to remain current on the trade credit and their permanent financing.

It was the Boater's World stores that destroyed the larger company - talk about the ultimate consumer discretionary purchase!! Sales just . . . stopped . . . . the week after Lehman Brothers was allowed to go bankrupt last September.
07-29-2009, 07:40 AM   #9
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Blaming Boaters World is a lame excuse. If they allowed losses in a totally unrelated business to drag down their core business of camera stores then that by itself shows what bad managers they were. The Ritz store in my area was doing very well but they closed that one up before the bankruptcy. They had no competition and drew customers from a large area.

Boaters World should have been independant of Ritz Camera and closed down. There is some real shady dealing going on. The camera companys get stiffed, hundreds of people loose their jobs and David Ritz can buy it back at an auction with 16 mil. of it cash? I have a 10 year old pair of sneakers that smell better.
07-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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I would suspect that Nikon are now pulling the strings and David Ritz is a highly paid puppet.
It makes sense for Nikon because guess what brand of camera Ritz is going to be selling, it could be a masterstroke for them.
What other camera stores are out there that will demo other brands to help them compete?
The weak link in this could be the staff in the stores.
07-29-2009, 12:13 PM   #11
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intresting move on Nikons part, (assuming this is all true)

you create a brick and mortar outlet exclusively for your brand without physically doing anything.

Nikon also sells alot of accessories and peripherals (for instance, last time i was at henry's i picked up a chinese-brand light stand + umbrella) for an extra 50 bucks i could have picked up the same thing but in a "nikon" bag, go figure.

and the truth of the matter, is that nikon does not make bad cameras, they have a very large specturm from entry level to pro, with a price point to match, and quite honestly, quite a good selection of lenses, again from entry level to pro. (perhaps Pentax is still king of primes, but as nikon has demonstrated many times, their zooms are top notch)

so... yeah, good for Nikon, bad for everyone else.
07-29-2009, 12:20 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
I would suspect that Nikon are now pulling the strings and David Ritz is a highly paid puppet.
It makes sense for Nikon because guess what brand of camera Ritz is going to be selling, it could be a masterstroke for them.
What other camera stores are out there that will demo other brands to help them compete?
The weak link in this could be the staff in the stores.
That would be my guess as well.
07-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
Blaming Boaters World is a lame excuse. If they allowed losses in a totally unrelated business to drag down their core business of camera stores then that by itself shows what bad managers they were. The Ritz store in my area was doing very well but they closed that one up before the bankruptcy. They had no competition and drew customers from a large area.

Boaters World should have been independant of Ritz Camera and closed down. There is some real shady dealing going on. The camera companys get stiffed, hundreds of people loose their jobs and David Ritz can buy it back at an auction with 16 mil. of it cash? I have a 10 year old pair of sneakers that smell better.

Actually, the larger holding company often gets collapsed when one or more of its divisions perform badly. AIG is a good example of that. There were a couple of divisions that were fine and several that were a problem. When the holding company goes bankrupt, it becomes complicated. However, it looks like D. Ritz and his "new" friends learned something from the GM bankruptcy case. Those clowns got bail out money and are getting more on top of that. At least Ritz only screwed the debt holders and not the Tax Payers as well.
07-29-2009, 04:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
That would be my guess as well.
I've changed my mind then.
07-29-2009, 05:00 PM   #15
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They should run those remaining 163 stores better than they did the previous 800 or those will probably shut down by next year. I've had a Ritz camera less than a minute away from my workplace for 10 years before they shut down and I'm lucky to have bought something there only a few times. It was usually a roll of film or two when I needed it. In fact, I'm not sure I've every bought a major camera item from them. (That is until my big clearance deal on the K20.) Maybe I bought a point and shoot years ago. It wasn't just because they didn't have much Pentax that I use, it was just they didn't have anything useful, and everything they did have was always much higher priced that I could get it from B&H.

If you've got someone who spends a lot on camera equipment and accessories every year, and he is a few walking steps away every day, and you can't get him to come into your store, you've got a huge problem.

Even if you were a Canon or Nikon user, you'd be stupid to not have bought your equipment through B&H for much less. In fact, I knew a Ritz employee once who even bought their stuff from B&H instead of their own company. He was a Nikon user I believe.
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