AgfaPhoto: a&o Group takes over minilab service, Imaging Solutions acquires wholesale lab equipment

The a&o Group was established October 1, 2002, and is specialized in IT services. The company, which expects total sales of Euro 100 million this year with 1,000 employees, provides a full range of services from a technical hotline and the supply of spare parts to on-site maintenance and repair for several manufacturers. The company will supply spare parts to operators of AgfaPhoto minilabs worldwide and will offer a full service in Europe, the USA and Canada. a&o has taken over the AgfaPhoto service and spare parts department with 15 employees, and the production plant for photochemistry in Vaihingen/Enz with 45 employees. a&o is also considering taking over between 60 and 100 AgfaPhoto service technicians worldwide. The company has also the option to buy the finished minilab equipment and the 360 partly finished machines from AgfaPhoto’s Peiting facility. “If this turns out, production could be restarted,” said a&o Managing Director Michael Müller, who added that the company will make all efforts to ensure the supply of spare parts for AgfaPhoto minilabs worldwide. ”Service for AgfaPhoto minilabs will resume very soon indeed,” Müller told INTERNATIONAL CONTACT today. ”Our service partners from all over the world will fly in today and tomorrow for further instructions, and all operators of AgfaPhoto minilabs will receive a letter Wednesday with all necessary details, contacts etc.“ Also on Wednesday, delivery of spare parts for AgfaPhoto minilabs will be restarted.

Imaging Solutions of Regensdorf, Switzerland, is the successsor to the central lab equipment division of the collapsed Gretag Imaging Group. After its start in Spring 2003, the company has achieved a leading position as a supplier of high-speed digital processing and printing equipment for wholesale labs.

According to Dr. Andreas Ringstmeier, Trustee of the AgfaPhoto Creditors, and AgfaPhoto CEO Hans-Gerd Jauch, there are currently no further negotiations taking place regarding the sale of parts of AgfaPhoto GmbH. At several locations, endeavours are under way to continue smaller segments under the terms of management buyouts, with no detailed plans available at the moment. The phase-out of production at AgfaPhoto’s manufacturing plants in Peiting/Munich, Leverkusen and Windhagen will be finished by end of this year and the sales of the goods produced will be completed by Summer 2006.