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EUROPEAN ROOTS, AMERICAN FOCUS

Meopta U.S.A.
by

L aurie L ee
D ovey

rom government takeover to American freedom,
80-year-old optics manufacturer Meopta u.s.a.
is now a stand-alone brand providing premium
optics to American sportsmen.
Founded in 1933 in Prerov, Czechoslovakia, Optikotechna company (now Meopta)
was focused on producing optical lenses, but rapidly expanded its product line to
include binoculars, cameras and projectors.
Optikotechna enjoyed a thriving consumer business until the company became
a pawn in the evolving political milieu of the times. The company was seized by the
German Wehrmacht in 1939 and forced to produce military riflescopes and binoculars.
At the end of World War ii, the company's name changed to Meopta. The intended
product focus was on the design, development and production of consumer optics.
However, Czechoslovakia fell under Soviet occupation and the company once again
shifted into military production.
From 1971 until 1989, the majority of the company's capacity was allocated to
military and industrial products for Warsaw Pact countries.
After the fall of Communism, a New York-based American family of Czech
descendants, the Rausnitzs, who had immigrated to the u.s. in 1946 and enjoyed great
business success, returned to their homeland looking for business opportunities. They
acquired Meopta in 1992.
"The family made significant investments into infrastructure and personnel,
which quickly enabled Meopta to become one of Europe's most modern and dominant
optical manufacturing companies," said Reinhard Seipp, optical engineer and Meopta
general manager. "Meopta became the supplier to the most prominent brands in
European optics."
When Seipp joined Meopta in 1994, it was an optical manufacturing company
specializing in aircraft cockpit instrumentation, a niche business. Seipp realized
the Czech facility had virtually unlimited capacity in optical and mechanical
manufacturing. Accordingly, the u.s. facility started assembling products specifically
for the u.s. marketplace.
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April 2014

"Initially, the company supplied
riflescopes, binoculars and spotting scopes
to the u.s. hunting and outdoor consumer
market as a manufacturing partner to
many of the world's finest optical brands,"
Seipp explained. "In the last 10 years, we
made over 300,000 riflescopes, most of
which did not have our name on them."
In 2006, Seipp took over distribution
of the Meopta brand for the u.s. market,
and the company name changed to
Meopta u.s.a. That created a bit of a
conundrum-Meopta u.s.a. was now
competing with its partners.
Consequently, for the first six years
Meopta u.s.a. was conservative with
its marketing approach, while keeping
its focus on product development.
Creating a complete line of high-quality
products would allow Meopta u.s.a. to
be competitive when its manufacturing
partnerships came to an end, which they
did in 2013.
Now the company is positioned to
be fully competitive with a line of sports
optics specifically focused on the needs
and desires of American sportsmen.
"We're poised for significant growth
by going all-out on the marketing side,"
Seipp added. "We've never been more



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - April 2014

America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 9
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 10
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 11
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 12
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 14
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 15
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 16
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 17
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 18
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 19
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 20
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 21
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 22
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 23
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 24
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 25
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 26
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 28
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 33
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