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It’s official! CRK secures Ilford

Photo Counter can confirm today (in a world exclusive) that the joint CR Kennedy/Chugai Photo Chemical bid for the Ilford, Galerie, Prestige and Omnijet brands and associated assets has been successful.

Photo Counter and Pro Counter first reported on the CR Kennedy bid on April 3.

The joint press release from CR Kennedy and Chugai follows:

Chugai Photo Chemical Co Ltd of Tokyo, Japan and CR Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Australia, have been successful in their bid for the ILFORD Trade Marks and Associated Assets.

Ilford is a world-famous brand and is one of the great pioneers of the photographic industry, with a proud 135-year history.

The acquisition will see leading products such as Ilford Gallerie Prestige and Ilford Omnijet range continue, with existing ICC profiles, on a world-wide basis.

A new company, Ilford Imaging Europe GMBH has been established as a joint venture and will be responsible for all product development, production, logistics, sales and marketing activities. Clement Kennedy and Arnoud Mekenkamp have been appointed as joint managing directors. 

The Ilford brand is now in safe hands. Together, both partners have a combined history of 146 years in the photo industry. They are committed to implementing long-term strategies for growth, with respect for the history and traditions of the Ilford brand. Ilford has for 135 years represented outstanding quality; this will continue.

Clem Kennedy, joint managing director of new entity Ilford Imaging Europe.
Clem Kennedy, joint managing director of new entity, Ilford Imaging Europe.

– A report in UK website Amateur Photographer in late April, following communication with the Ilford Imaging liquidator, put the Chugai/Kennedy bid at 1.3 million pounds.(around $2.35 million dollars). At that stage it was not confirmed as the successful bid.

While Clem Kennedy is a familiar name in the Australian photo industry both as a director of CR Kennedy and former treasurer of PICA and then IDEA, Arnoud Mekenkamp is managing director of Tecco GmbH based in Bergisch Gladbach (close to Cologne), a producer and converter of uncoated and coated inkjet and laser papers/print substrates and paper-based offset printing forms.

We hope to bring Photo Counter readers more details in coming weeks.

COMMENT: Photo Counter heartily congratulates Malcolm Kennedy and the Kennedy team in securing such an iconic brand as Ilford Imaging. This is a remarkable achievement for an Australian family-owned company – no Australian photo business has had equity in a brand with the global recognition of Ilford. The very fact that its was sought after shows great vision – and not a little courage. This is a crowning achievement for this third-generation Australian business to mark its 80th year. We wish them well in the new venture.


  1. PG PG May 9, 2014

    Congratulations to the Kennedy family.

  2. John Swainston John Swainston May 9, 2014

    Let me add my congratulations to the Kennedy team. It’s a great example of commitment to a revered brand and enabling that brand to continue globally. Well done. As a personal consumer I look forward to continued innovation from Ilford Gallerie especially.

  3. Andy McCourt Andy McCourt May 11, 2014

    That’s a powerful combination. I’ve dealt with Tecco (owned by Chugai) and their inkjet products are excellent. Have met Arnoud when he was with Heytex – dynamic guy. CRK we all know. Good to see the great Ilford brand living on in safe hands like these.

  4. Nelson Schmitz Nelson Schmitz Post author | May 15, 2014

    As a former employee of Ilford in the US, both in product management and sales, I am delighted to see the Ilford legacy and innovation continue.

    During my eighteen years with Ilford, I am glad to have been part of managing the (original) ILFOJET line in the US, which was the initial inkjet medium of the company. I am also delighted to see that the OMNIJET line will continue to move forward, and hope to see the OMNIJET brand re-emerge in the US.

    I am in the Seattle area now, and know that the OMNIJET line will be successful if sales and distribution support can be regenerated.

    I am glad I suggested that the GALERIE name be attached to desktop applications to Ilford in Mobberley in 1995 after having done a pilot project of domestically coated fine art media for IRIS printers during that era.

    It is pleasing that the GALERIE name has legs, and will continue to march forward.

    Nelson Schmitz
    Maple Valley, WA

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