Irony, thy name is Meade.

I know this ins’t breaking news, but this weekend at RTMC I found out that Meade Instruments Corp. (est. 1972), one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of telescopes and accessories for amateur astronomers and  (JOC) are in merger talks.

Jinghua will pay 3-4 million dollars cash to acquire all of Meade. The deal is expected to be completed by the end of July, subject to shareholder approval.

Why is this ironic you might ask?  Well let me tell you a tale.  Once upon a time a talented employee of Meade worked diligently with astronomers to promote Meade products and technology.  Years later that talented person later left the company and formed Explore Scientific.

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Working with JOC, Explore Scientific quickly built quality products and spread throughout the astronomical community.  Alas, during this same period Meade was in a serious decline with failed product launches and vaporware, the astronomical community turned from the tried and true, to the new and innovative.

So this announcement by JOC, who is also the parent company of Explore Scientific, LLC (USA) and Meade Instruments Europe GmbH & Co. KG (Germany), came as a pleasant surprise.  There is hope on the horizon for Meade fans.  The company won’t fold and, hopefully, will return to its former glory under its new owners.

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So, you still may be asking about the irony.  I think it is ironic that Scott Roberts, currently president of Explore Scientific LLC and previously one of Meade’s vice presidents, will now be back running the company that he left in 2007.

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“I am especially pleased with this global reunion with Meade. I believe it will give us a rare opportunity in our industry to combine the best of what all of our companies have to offer,” stated Scott Roberts, president of Explore Scientific, which will manage operations of Meade after the acquisition.

Scott, I wish you the best of luck.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +