The transaction is still subject to the approval of the antitrust authorities. Agfa is a global provider of analog and digital X-ray and ultrasonic inspection systems for testing the structure and tolerance of materials without damaging or deforming them. Its main customers are in the aerospace, automotive, rail, energy and petrochemical industries. In 2002, the business accounted for about 4.5 percent of Agfa’s total sales with revenues of approximately Euro 220 million. The agreement includes all Agfa’s activities in the field of non-destructive testing with the exception of the production of X-ray film, for which Agfa and General Electric have concluded a long-term supply agreement, making GE the exclusive distributor of Agfa industrial X-ray film. Around 1,050 employees will be transfered from Agfa to General Electric. According to Ludo Verhoeven, Chief Executive Officer of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, the company did not go out of its way to sell off this business, but by creating a "One Stop Shop" for Non-Destructive Testing through several acquisitions through the past few years, the business had become attractive to other parties. "The price, but also the commitment of General Electric towards the future development of the business, its customers and its employees have convinced Agfa to accept General Electric‘s offer to acquire the business group", said Verhoeven. "Agfa will now have
a more focused business portfolio. We will be able to use the proceeds to advance our strategy of expansion and may also consider buying back some shares."
Separately, Agfa has announced a change in the company’s Board. André Bergen, who is responsible for finance and administration in the Board of the Agfa-Gevaert Group, will leave the company to take over as Chairman of the Board of KBC Bank. He will remain with Agfa in his current position until a successor is named. The exact time of his departure has not yet been fixed, but will be before the middle of 2003.