Mortsel / Belgium, January 20th, 2003 - Agfa-Gevaert announces that it will disinvest its business group Non-Destructive Testing to GE Aircraft Engines, a division of General Electric Company (USA). The transaction will be completed upon receipt of regulatory approvals.
Agfa is a global provider of analogue and digital X-ray and ultrasonic inspection systems to test the structure and tolerance of materials without damaging or deforming them. Its main customers are in the aerospace, automotive, railway, energy and petrochemical industries. In 2002, this business group's revenues of approximately 220 million Euro represented about 4.5% of Agfa's sales.
The agreement concerns 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 according to which General Electric will become the exclusive provider of Agfa industrial X-Ray film. Approximately 1050 employees will be transferred to General Electric.
"Agfa has been investing considerably in the area of Non Destructive Testing over the last years, by acquiring several companies. We now offer our customers the main technologies available in this industry, from traditional x-ray film, to digital x-ray and ultrasonic testing systems." said Jos Vancoppernolle, general manager of the business group Non- Destructive Testing.
"We were not pursuing to sell off this business. But by creating a one-stop shop for Non-Destructive Testing, Agfa 's business group became attractive for 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 Ludo Verhoeven, Agfa's Chief Executive Officer, " Agfa will now have a more focussed business portfolio. We will be able to use the proceeds to advance in our strategy of expansion and may also consider buying back some shares. "