Apple may have found a way into the TV market quickly with the potential acquisition of German TV brand Loewe who first started making TV’s 80 years ago.
Senior executives of Loewe whose products are sold in Australia by Audio Products Australia have not denied that they are in discussions with Apple to sell the Company.
Currently Loewe makes unique high end TVs and attach sound systems. The marriage of Apple design skills software and online content as well as their extensive distribution networks is a logical marriage with a Loewe TV and audio systems claim analysts.
Loewe shares were first listed on the German stock exchange in July 1999, an announcement to the exchange as to whether they are in discussions with Apple is expected to be made tonight Australian time.
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The main shareholders in the German TV Company is Sharp with a 28.83% shareholding.
Recently Apple commenced a commercial relationship with the struggling Sharp group to make display panels for their iPad and Mac PC’s. The maker of Japan’s first commercial TVs, Sharp recently cemented a relationship with Foxconn Technology Group who make the bulk of Apple products in China.
Foxconn founder Terry Gou recently invested $1.6 billion in Sharp in an effort to help them turn around a business heading for a multi billion dollar loss it’s worse in more than a century.
Speculation is that Apple has offered $113 million for Loewe who is struggling in the UK market where they own the local subsidiary.
Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney who is also a Loewe dealer said “If Apple are going to go into the TV market Loewe is the brand to do it with. They are a smart brand who make excellent TV’s. They have attach sound systems and would be an excellent brand for Apple to use as their launch pad into the TV market”.
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Rab at Carlton Audio in Melbourne who also a Loewe dealer said “Loewe is a logical choice for Apple, they have the TV systems and great design already, by adding Apple software and access to content make sense for Apple”.
Kilian Steiner, Loewe AG International PR Manager did not deny that Apple was in discussions with Loewe however he tell their global dealer that “Loewe does not take part in any rumours in the market. Therefore Loewe will not comment any news on Loewe and Apple. Thank you”.
In a statement to Bloomberg Roland Raithel another Loewe spokesperson said via email Loewe “does not want to take part in these rumors”.
Apple didn’t immediately respond today to a voicemail left by Bloomberg News on its media hotline seeking comment.
AppleInsider, citing an unidentified person familiar with the talks, reported a final decision on the takeover would be announced internally at Loewe before May 18.
In January, Loewe posted a fiscal 2011 loss before interest and taxes of 10.5 million euros on sales of 274 million euros. The company said it expected a gain in 2012 sales.
Analysts have predicted that Cupertino, California-based Apple, maker of the iPhone and iPad, will debut a television within a year.