Magazine Article


German Firm Expected to Pick Up Agfa Parts and Service Operation

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By the end of December, the remaining Agfa minilab equipment, about 40 systems, were expected to be shipped. The entire inventory of paper and chemistry was wiped out by the Agfa direct customers and the network of six wholesale distributors who bought all they could find in an effort to keep their own Agfa customers supplied for as long as possible.

I also understand Agfa's two major private-label film customers, Wal-Mart (Polaroid brand) and Walgreens (Studio-35 brand), have taken delivery on all remaining stocks.

While December 31 saw the end of certain functions at AgfaPhoto U.S.A., the doors are not locked and the telephones are still working. The staff at Ridgefield Park, NJ, headquarters has been pared down as functions are eliminated, but some cadre remain. In addition to Bing, two other members of the staff have agreed to stay and work toward a smooth shutdown: Dan Unger and Craig Wetherbee. I have not used the business card titles of these two industry veterans because they are now functioning in multiple roles as other desks throughout the office are now unmanned.

Also remaining is the finance group, which has an important function to perform: the collection of trade receivables that amount to over eight figures. The collection of receivables for a firm going out of business can be a bit sticky.

There is also a rather substantial portfolio of leases resulting from the sale of Agfa equipment since the inception of AgfaPhoto U.S.A. in November 2004. Most of these leases were recently sold by Bing to Leaf Financial, a large commercial leasing company in Philadelphia. Another lease portfolio is held by Agfa Financial, a separate company.