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SW Technology buys Celestron

The California telescope maker plans to resume full production and product development.
Celestron scope promo
April 6, 2005
Celestron International, one of the world's leading designers and manufacturers of telescopes and binoculars, announced today that it has been acquired by SW Technology Corp., a Delaware affiliate of Synta Technology Corp. Synta, an optics manufacturer in Taiwan, has supplied the Torrance, Calif., company for 15 years and has played a development role in some of its most popular products.

"I am committed to maintaining Celestron's reputation of quality and innovation and will support its continued efforts to create and engineer products that give value to the consumer," David Shen, Synta founder, said in today's press release.

Celestron has been unable to take advantage of market demand for its products because the company was undercapitalized after its 2002 reorganization, Shen said. Legal costs associated with a suit brought by Meade Instruments Corp., Celestron's chief U.S. competitor, also played a role. The sale takes place amid rumors that Meade was planning to purchase the company. Celestron acknowledged that Meade expressed such an interest, but noted the Federal Trade Commission had blocked the move several times.

As a result of the Synta acquisition, Celestron announced it would be able to meet all current financial obligations and continue to engineer, develop, and manufacture its products. The company's first goal is to fill a 3-month backlog of product orders and work to resume full-scale production and product development operations. The company says the sale will not interrupt or delay product warranties or support.

"Synta has deep understanding of the telescope industry and appreciation for the value of Celestron's products," said Celestron CEO Joseph A. Lupica. "I am very excited to be in a position whereby our entire workforce will be able to focus 100 percent of our energies on the development, production and distribution of high-quality optical products."

Lupica and Richard L. Hedrick will continue to lead the company, Shen said, and chairman Alan Hale and Celestron founder Tom Johnson will remain as consultants.
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