Reports from several European sources confirm that Bowens International Ltd., the English manufacturer of studio flash units, has gone into liquidation.
Established in 1923, the company grew into one of the major brands for studio lighting, producing flashes, softboxes, reflectors, lights, and other lighting accessories. Problems surfaced in early 2016, when the company unexpectedly pulled out of a major UK trade show. Then in June 2016, Bowens Lighting was acquired by the European investment firm Aurelius, along with Calumet Photographic. Calumet and Bowens Lighting reportedly attracted revenues of roughly US$125 million in 2015 prior to the acquisition, and Aurelius announced plans to expand Calumet’s retail footprint across Europe.
Bowens has released a statement saying the decision to close its doors was made due to a few ‘far-reaching changes affecting its market’, among them the emergence of ‘considerably less expensive products by Chinese manufacturers’ and the ‘changed buying behavior of professional photographers’, who are ‘only willing to invest in new equipment if the investment guarantees additional income’. Calumet says it will continue to provide service to existing Bowens users, but that it will be working out deals with other lighting equipment brands in order to make up for the sales lost through Bowens’ demise.