FRANKFURT Jan 17 New investors in German
television maker Loewe plan to cut about a quarter of
its 550 jobs to try to turn around the company, which filed for
insolvency in October after losing out to fierce competition
amid falling prices for TV sets.
Loewe said on Thursday its core television business had been
bought by a group of investors including a former senior manager
at Apple and Bang & Olufsen for an undisclosed
price and that they would keep the brand name while liquidating
and delisting the company shell.
"We will make the Loewe brand available to a broader and
younger audience in Europe, Russia and China," the new owners
said in a statement.
Loewe, started by brothers Siegmund and David Ludwig Loewe
in 1923, first sought protection from creditors in July, after a
disastrous strategy to combat the economic downturn by focusing
on premium customers backfired.
Consumers in Europe, where Loewe generates 97 percent of its
sales, shied away from paying prices between 1,000 euros and
5,000 euros for flat-screen TV sets, as Samsung and
LG Electronics among other rivals presented far
cheaper mass-market models.
Loewe's annual sales dropped to 250 million euros in 2012
from 374 million in 2008.
German union IG Metall welcomed the salvage of Loewe but
criticised the new job cuts. It said workers had already made
some financial sacrifices to save jobs and expressed
disappointment that some would now have to leave after all.
Loewe shares were up 2.8 percent at 3.26 euros by 1515 GMT,
after rising almost a quarter to a two-month high of 3.949 euros
earlier in the day.
(Reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by