Camera film firm Agfa-Photo declares insolvency

27th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

27 May 2005, LEVERKUSEN - Agfa-Photo, one of the traditional names in the camera film sector, announced on Friday that it has filed for insolvency proceedings.

27 May 2005

LEVERKUSEN - Agfa-Photo, one of the traditional names in the camera film sector, announced on Friday that it has filed for insolvency proceedings.

Leverkusen-based Agfa-Photo said it could not meet its payments and had filed for insolvency at a civil court in the nearby city of Cologne.

A company spokesman said it was possible that the Cologne court would name a bankruptcy administrator as early as Friday. He said management had informed employees of the decision on the company's Intranet on Thursday.

Earlier, the head of the workers council, Bernhard Dykstra, told the West German Broadcasting (WDR) channel that the insolvency move had taken employees completely by surprise. Dykstra was due to meet with the workers on Friday to discuss the situation.

More than 1,800 Agfa employees in Germany would be affected by the insolvency, including 870 at Agfa headquarters in Leverkusen.

The company also has production sites in five other cities and towns around Germany.

The Agfa trademark was first registered in 1897, some eight years after the company began production of the first photography product, a film developer.

In 1937, Agfa became the first company to market colour film. In 1964 the company merged with the Belgian firm Gevaert Photo-Producten to form the Agfa-Gevaert group.

The company's fortunes, with its focus on camera films, have fallen steadily in recent years with the advent of digital photography, with sales in the first half of 2004 plunging by 18 percent and the company going into the red.

Agfa-Gevaert then sold the segments of film, photographic chemicals and laboratory equipment to a group of German and American investors in November 2004 to create Agfa-Photo GmbH, a limited- liability company, for EUR 175.5 million.

The chief stakeholder, with a 55 percent share, is the Nanno holding company led by businessman Hartmut Emans.

DPA

Subject: German news

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