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Proceedings of the Symposium on Progress in Data Processing and Analysis

A Stewart Walker
Leica Aarau AG
CH—5001 Aarau, Switzerland
The creation of Leica pic following a merger between Wild Leitz
Holding AG and The Cambridge Instrument Company pic has major
implications for the photogrammetric community. This paper
summarises the events leading to this new company and outlines its
objectives, philosophy and structure. Finally, a review is given
of the photogrammetric product lines of the concern, emphasising
developments which have taken place since the Congress in Kyoto.
On 2 April 1990 the Leica Public Limited Company was formed.
Registered in England, the new concern is managed from St Gallen
in Switzerland. Its shares are traded on the London Stock
Exchange. This powerful new concern will have a profound
influence on the photogrammetric world and the purpose of this
paper is threefold: to give an outline of the events which led to
the formation of the new concern; to explain the objectives,
philosophy and structure of the concern, so that readers
understand clearly where and how the sales and support of
photogrammetric products are organised; and to list the
photogrammetric product lines and highlight developments which are
fresh since the XVI International Congress of Photogrammetry in
Kyoto in 1988.
Readers are familiar with the merger of Wild and Leitz which took
place in the 1970s, culminating in the change of name to Wild
Leitz. More crucial to photogrammetrists, however, was the
assumption of a controlling interest in Kern and Co AG in 1988.
Even as plans were implemented to merge the photogrammetric
efforts of the Aarau and Heerbrugg factories, however,
negotiations were afoot to form an even bigger and more
influential group. Spurred by numerous commercial factors,
including the requirements to trade successfully in the European
Community and to have available the massive resources necessary to
develop new products in the fiercely competitive, systems oriented
world of precision optics, mechanics and electronics
("mechoptronics"), the concern has been created to take advantage
of personnel, manufacturing facilities and sales organisations in
a host of countries.
The Leica Public Limited Company, for which the term "Leica" will
be used here, is eponymous with its product line associated with