Will focus exclusively on graphic systems and healthcare
Agfa-Gevaert has reached an agreement to divest its Consumer Imaging business, including film, finishing products, lab equipment, as well as the related lease portfolio. The new company, AgfaPhoto GmbH, will be headquartered in Leverkusen, Germany, with North American operations based in New Jersey. AgfaPhoto will be a privately held comapny, funded by AgfaPhoto senior management, NannO Beteiligungsholding, and two minority shareholders, Abrams Capital and Highfields Capital. AgfaPhoto will be allowed to use the Agfa brand for photo film products for an unlimited period of time; an AgfaPhoto brand will be launched for finishing products and lab equipment.
"Agfa Consumer Imaging emerges as a leader in imaging, with roughly 50% of the world's images now produced on Agfa equipment," says Bing Liem, president of the AgfaPhoto's North American operations. "As a separate company that is nimble, entrepreneurial, and focused, Agfa Consumer Imaging can act with unprecedented speed and responsiveness to meet the needs of our customers worldwide. We are committed to providing award-winning imaging technology and unparalleled service and support so that our customers can capitalize on the growing opportunities in digital and traditional photofinishing."
The divestiture will allows Agfa to focus on its core growth markets of Graphic Systems and HealthCare, which are rapidly going digital, says Ludo Verhoeven, Agfa-Gevaert CEO. "We will now be in a position to move faster in strengthening our position as a leading player in the imaging markets of the future," he says.
Agfa's Consumer Imaging business comprises photographic products for the consumer market (film, memory cards, single-use cameras) as well as consumables and equipment for photo finishing labs (film, photo papers, photo chemicals, onsite processing systems, and digital wholesale finishing systems). After 6 months in 2004, Consumer Imaging sales reached 363 million Euros ($446.5 million), a decrease of 17.9% compared to the same period in 2003. The sales decrease, says Agfa, reflects "the rapidly accelerating shift from analog to digital photography, as well as increased price erosion." Turnover of film rolls was most affected, while lab equipment and photopaper showed a more modest decline.
The purchase price for the Consumer Imaging business was 175.5 million Euros ($217 million); the targeted closing date is November 1. (Agfa: www.agfa.com)