Agfa dead?

Started Oct 20, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Kenneth Margulies
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Agfa dead?
Oct 20, 2005

AgfaPhoto GmbH said Wednesday it was likely it would be out of business and its 2,400 employees without work by the end of the year after it failed to find a buyer interested in acquiring it.

The Leverkusen-based photographic film company had filed for bankruptcy protection in May amid declining sales and fierce competition from digital cameras.

In recent weeks, the company had been in talks with Britain's Photo-Me International PLC about a possible takeover but spokesman Thomas Schulz said those talks were halted after creditors rejected the offer.

Surrey-based Photo-Me had no comment.

AgfaPhoto's trustee, Andreas Ringstmeier, said that the draft agreement was intensively discussed and that the company was prepared to make many concessions to stave off liquidation.

"But the draft agreement contained too many points that were unacceptable," he said without elaborating.

Belgian imaging company Agfa-Gevaert NV sold its money-losing consumer business for 184.1 million euros, or $220 million, to a group of private investors late last year. AgfaPhoto had sales of about 753.1 million euros, about $900 million, last year.

Agfa-Gevaert kept the professional imaging business, which makes supplies and equipment for the printing, motion picture and health care industries.

Agfaphoto is not the first traditional photography company to be hurt by the growth of digital imaging.

Eastman Kodak Co. in the United States - which posted a $1.03 billion third-quarter loss on Wednesday - is restructuring and closing plants to adapt to dwindling demand for some of its products. Britain's Ilford Imaging was in receivership, a form of bankruptcy protection, last year before re-emerging in February.

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