Merger mania


Tim O'Connor
 

Regarding Walthers + Lifelike --

It's interesting there has been no speculation here on the effect
this combination might have on Branchline for example. BL is owned
by Hobby Stores Distributing and losing the Proto1000/2000 line as
well as already having lost Athearn & Roundhouse makes me wonder if
HSD will either start on a buying spree of its own, or give up and
try to sell Branchline to someone else... in the age old game of
merge, or die!

Tim O'Connor


Charlie Vlk
 

The only major independent producers of freightcars will likely be Atlas and
Bachmann. Model Power hasn't stepped up to the plate with HO or N Scale
serious cars; Accurail, Intermountain and Red Caboose are likely acquistion
candidates. Stewart already went to Bowser. The shakeup will be in
Distributors.... the impact on manufacturers will be less significant than
the downsizing of the delivery pipeline due to the pairing of single source
distributors with Athearn, Stewart, MDC, and LifeLike. Smaller hobby
distributors like Trost, California Hobby, etc. will be likely be hurt.
Charlie Vlk


Paul Hillman
 

What's curious to me is, after the last few years of all these greatly done RTR efforts and special issues of these various manufacturers, all of a sudden a sell-out/merger is necessary. Did the tooling-costs ultimately consume their glorious intents, as well as a below-expected sales volume?

I hope these companies remain by name and quality. I don't want to have to ultimately buy from just one firm.

It's sounding like the prototype mergers. (In that respect, what happened to the anti-trust/monopoly "laws".)

Paul Hillman

----- Original Message -----
From: cf5250<mailto:timboconnor@comcast.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com<mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 4:04 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Merger mania



Regarding Walthers + Lifelike --

It's interesting there has been no speculation here on the effect
this combination might have on Branchline for example. BL is owned
by Hobby Stores Distributing and losing the Proto1000/2000 line as
well as already having lost Athearn & Roundhouse makes me wonder if
HSD will either start on a buying spree of its own, or give up and
try to sell Branchline to someone else... in the age old game of
merge, or die!

Tim O'Connor






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Ted Culotta <tculotta@...>
 

On Jul 18, 2005, at 5:04 PM, cf5250 wrote:


Regarding Walthers + Lifelike --

It's interesting there has been no speculation here on the effect
this combination might have on Branchline for example. BL is owned
by Hobby Stores Distributing and losing the Proto1000/2000 line as
well as already having lost Athearn & Roundhouse makes me wonder if
HSD will either start on a buying spree of its own, or give up and
try to sell Branchline to someone else... in the age old game of
merge, or die!
I don't claim to know their business, but last time I checked, HSD did not survive on trains alone, but rather distributed other types of hobby kits and associated paraphernalia. I don't know if the military plastic market has gone the same route of manufacturers cum distributors or vice versa, but if not, they are not in as weak a position as one might surmise.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
645 Tanner Marsh Road, Guilford, CT 06437
info@speedwitch.com
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912


Tom Jones III <tomtherailnut@...>
 

The mergers are inevitable, especially with the advent of much of
manufacturing and assembly going to China. The "local" guys just don't need
as much - as much real estate, as much personel, as much overhead. Plus, the
cost of developing good quality models goes down if you don't have to train
you own replacement! Just buy him or her when you buy your competitor out.

Tom

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Hillman" <chris_hillman@msn.com>
To: <STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Merger mania


What's curious to me is, after the last few years of all these greatly
done RTR efforts and special issues of these various manufacturers, all of a
sudden a sell-out/merger is necessary. Did the tooling-costs ultimately
consume their glorious intents, as well as a below-expected sales volume?

I hope these companies remain by name and quality. I don't want to have to
ultimately buy from just one firm.

It's sounding like the prototype mergers. (In that respect, what happened
to the anti-trust/monopoly "laws".)

Paul Hillman
----- Original Message -----
From: cf5250<mailto:timboconnor@comcast.net>
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com<mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 4:04 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Merger mania



Regarding Walthers + Lifelike --

It's interesting there has been no speculation here on the effect
this combination might have on Branchline for example. BL is owned
by Hobby Stores Distributing and losing the Proto1000/2000 line as
well as already having lost Athearn & Roundhouse makes me wonder if
HSD will either start on a buying spree of its own, or give up and
try to sell Branchline to someone else... in the age old game of
merge, or die!

Tim O'Connor






Yahoo! Groups Links













Yahoo! Groups Links






Tim O'Connor
 

Paul Hillman wrote

What's curious to me is, after the last few years of all these greatly done RTR efforts and special issues of these various manufacturers, all of a sudden a sell-out/merger is necessary. Did the tooling-costs ultimately consume their glorious intents, as well as a below-expected sales volume?

That may be true of Stewart, but certainly not Athearn, and [probably] Life-Like.
They were like most companies bought because their success attracted buyers with
money to invest.

Tim O'Connor


Schuyler Larrabee
 

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@yahoogroups.com [mailto:STMFC@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, July 18, 2005 8:10 PM
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Merger mania

Paul Hillman wrote
. Did the tooling-costs ultimately consume their
glorious intents, as well as a below-expected sales volume?
Tim O'Connor

That may be true of Stewart,

A good part of the sale of Stewart was that Steve, having lost his first wife, and found the second,
and also having become pretty much exhausted in terms of energy to keep Stewart at the front edge,
or at least close to it, was, simply, ready to sell out and retire.

He tells me he's having a ball.

SGL


Richard Hendrickson
 

No one has pointed out what is certainly the most significant fact
about the Life-Like/Walthers deal, which is that Life-Like's model
railroad business was both irrelevant to, and dwarfed by, their main
business, well described on the L-L website as follows:

Life-Like, under the LIFOAM brand, has become the world’s largest
manufacturer of foam picnic coolers and related items. Under the
Pro-Pak brand, Life-Like has built a significant business in the “cold
chain” distribution of insulated boxes and various refrigerated gel
packs serving major distributors as well as direct sales to providers
of gourmet foods, health care and the seafood industry.

It seems reasonable to suppose that Life-Like's management simply
decided to shed a part of their business which, however successful it
may be, requires more resources than is justified by its relatively
modest profitability, as compared to the picnic cooler and insulated
box business.

Richard Hendrickson


Anthony Thompson <thompson@...>
 

Richard Hendrickson wrote:
Life-Like, under the LIFOAM brand, has become the world’s largest
manufacturer of foam picnic coolers and related items . . .
Urk. I guess we should be grateful the LL cars are not molded
in styrofoam . . .

Tony Thompson Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 www.signaturepress.com
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937; e-mail, thompson@signaturepress.com
Publishers of books on railroad history


Tom Jones III <tomtherailnut@...>
 

I happily use their foam cooler for train watching expeditions. They are
sold everywhere you want to be . . .

Tom Jones III

----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Merger mania


Richard Hendrickson wrote:
Life-Like, under the LIFOAM brand, has become the world's largest
manufacturer of foam picnic coolers and related items . . .
Urk. I guess we should be grateful the LL cars are not molded
in styrofoam . . .


raildata@...
 

While we may not be happy with everything Walthers produces and how they run
their business, I think we owe them a vote of confidence that they feel there
is enough of a future in the model railroad scale hobby to invest capital in
it...a rare phenomena these days!

Chuck Y
Boulder CO


Walter M. Clark
 

--- In STMFC@yahoogroups.com, Ted Culotta <tculotta@s...> wrote:
<snip>
I don't claim to know their business, but last time I checked, HSD did
not survive on trains alone, but rather distributed other types of
hobby kits and associated paraphernalia. I don't know if the military
plastic market has gone the same route of manufacturers cum
distributors or vice versa, but if not, they are not in as weak a
position as one might surmise.

Regards,
Ted Culotta

Speedwitch Media
645 Tanner Marsh Road, Guilford, CT 06437
info@s...
www.speedwitch.com
(650) 787-1912
One of my other interests is current military activities (21+ years in
the U. S. Army Reserves, almost all in Civil Affairs, a previously
almost totally ignored corner of the Special Operations Command, where
the Green Berets, Rangers and other related "snake eaters" hang out,
that is now in high demand in Afghanistan and Iraq), and on the
Strategy Page (www.strategypage.com) there has been an occasional item
regarding the various companies that make weapons, vehicles, ships,
airplanes, etc., doing exactly what Union Pacific is doing in wanting
large licensing fees for allowing production and sale of military
models, some asking as much as $40 per kit(!). It's not just
railroads, folks.

Walter M. Clark
Time stopped in November 1941
Riverside, California


Greg Martin
 

Chuck,

Your post makes more sense than speculating on what now...

Greg Martin

-----Original Message-----
From: raildata@aol.com
To: STMFC@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 19:45:45 EDT
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Merger mania


While we may not be happy with everything Walthers produces and how they run
their business, I think we owe them a vote of confidence that they feel there
is enough of a future in the model railroad scale hobby to invest capital in
it...a rare phenomena these days!

Chuck Y
Boulder CO








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