My April Fool’s post was just a joke, but it seems that life sometimes does imitate art. From Forbes.com:
BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) – Ludo Verhoeven, chairman of imaging technology and software group Agfa-Gevaert NV said the company has received interest in buying all three of the businesses which it will be spun off into next year.
Asked whether interest was coming from private equity groups, Verhoeven said ‘the only thing I can say is that there has been interest for all three businesses, and that’s not bad news’.
He was speaking at a news conference for the group’s half-year results.
The group plans to divide into three separately listed companies; Agfa Graphics, Agfa Healthcare and Agfa Materials.
Earlier, the group said it expects the company’s demerger into three separate companies to be completed by summer next year, with the group implementing the transaction based on the closing balance sheet of Dec 31 at the end of this year.
The listing of independent companies will also take place before summer 2008.
Are you listening, GE? I’m not sure there is another Big Iron company out there that would be able to afford this little purchase. Or that would be at all interested, for that matter…..
Many thanks to AuntMinnie user Daryl Thompson who spotted this little tidbit.
BusinessWeek.com adds this:
Agfa Split Attracts Private Equity Interest
Agfa-Gevaert NV’s split-up into three separate businesses next year may well lead to the sale of at least one of the demerged companies — but whilst analysts agree the move is unlikely to take place in the short term, they see a number of possible buyers, including private equity groups and sectoral peers from both Europe and the US. On July 31, group chairman Ludo Verhoeven said the company has received interest from potential buyers of Agfa Graphics NV, Agfa Healthcare and Agfa Materials, but said a deal would have to be done at the right price. Analysts see the demerger as a much-needed move by a company which needs to ‘get its act together’, adding that it will unlock value to attract potential buyers. Arnaud Goossens at ING Securities sees the sale as a long-term goal: ‘These businesses have been up for sale for almost two years,’ he said, adding that many potential buyers have now invested elsewhere. Philips NV has been mooted as a possible buyer, but Siddy Jobe at Bank Degroof said the obligation to take on the declining analogue business, as well the digital hospital imaging systems, had put them off. ‘If you’re interested in healthcare, you have to take it all or nothing,’ Jobe said. ING’s Goossens, however, did not rule out the break-up of the demerged entities and said Philips could be eyeing Agfa’s ORBIS hospital IT system.
Hey, wait a minute…Philips???? Didn’t they just buy Stentor and make it their flagship program, ditching Sectra and inconveniencing the users of the “old” platform? I guess I’ll have to learn to love iSite, eh?
And there’s even more bad news for Agfa, and potentially us Agfa groupies, from Forbes 7/31/07:
BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) – Shares in Agfa-Gevaert NV plunged after the imaging technology and software group posted a disappointing set of second quarter results and put back the company’s demerger by six months to focus on operational improvements…
‘After a decent first quarter that gave hope for more improvement, the second quarter results are a major disappointment. Further… management admitted the major operational weakness and said it would focus more on operational improvement,’ the broker said…
‘The results show that Agfa is not yet worth any sign of confidence from investors. Management has a lot of difficulties in getting the ship under control.’
Uh Oh… Next thing you know, Agfa will be blaming me for their downturn, although the article suggests that the high price of aluminum is at fault. We’ll see…. Actually, they did find someone to blame, acording to Forbes:
BRUSSELS (Thomson Financial) – Agfa-Gevaert NV has announced that Philippe Houssiau will be leaving his role as president of Agfa HealthCare, ‘in view of the second quarter results’.
The company added that Carl Verstraelen will join the unit as Vice President Finance and Controlling.
Verstraelen will be put forward for appointment as CFO in Agfa HealthCare’s executive committee after Agfa splits next year into three separate listed companies, the imaging technology and software group said in a statement.