Camera accessory company Vitec expands with acquisition of Lowepro, Joby

The acquisition of Job allows Vitec to expand into smartphone supports like this one.

The company behind brands like Manfrotto, Lasolite, and Gitzo now owns camera bag company Lowepro and flexible tripod brand Joby. On Monday, September 25, Vitec announced the acquisition of Lowepro and Joby, bringing them under the umbrella of the company’s other 22 photography brands worldwide. Both brands were acquired from the DayMen group for $10.3 million.

The Vitec Group is one of the leading global companies in photographic accessories, with two divisions in broadcast and general photography. With the acquisition, the company expands into smartphone photography with Joby GorillaPods designed for smartphones, the GripTightOne series. Bringing in Lowepro allows the company to expand their camera bag line, which already includes Manfrotto bags, Sachtler and bags with the National Geographic license.

Vitec says that the two newly acquired brands will become part of the company’s photographic division under the leadership of Marco Pezzana, photographic divisional chief executive. Vitec didn’t comment on any changes in staff for the two brands.

“We pride ourselves on supplying the leading photographic brands to the global market,” Pezzana said in a statement. “This natural addition to our business strengthens the already outstanding offering we provide to our partners worldwide. We believe that our extensive knowledge of the photographic market will enable us to add a wealth of value to these already leading brands. Joby and Lowepro’s product development expertise, coupled with our established global distribution network, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities, creates exciting opportunities for both Vitec Group and our global partners.”

Lowpro is the market leader for camera bags, Vitec says. Lowepro’s existing focus on professionals as well as outdoor photographers will complement the bags already owned by Vitec, including Manfrotto’s bags that focus on urban and studio-based photography.

While the company has a number of different tripod brands, support systems designed specifically for smartphones are a new category for Vitec. Joby is most popular for the GorillaPod, a flexible tripod that can attach to multiple surfaces, first launched in 2006. Along with smartphone compatibility, the larger GorillaPods are designed for mirrorless cameras and lightweight DSLRs.

The acquisition adds Lowepro and Manfrotto to Vitec’s list of popular photography brands, which already includes Manfrotto, Gitzo, Lasolite, and Avenger among its list of 22 photo accessory brands. Last week, Vitec also acquired RTMotion, a company developing wireless lens control systems for broadcast and professional cinema cameras.