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Agfa Graphics and xpedx to End Business Relationship

November 29, 2010
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RIDGEFIELD PARK, NJ/CINCINNATI, OH—Nov. 29, 2010—Agfa Corp. and xpedx today announced a joint decision to wind down their long-standing relationship. Effective on Feb. 28, 2011, xpedx will end its distribution of Agfa-branded graphics products in the United States.

Management of both companies have agreed on a transition plan and timetable to avoid disruptions of service and support to customers. This effort will ensure a continuous supply of printing products to customers.

The decision follows Agfa’s acquisition of The Pitman Co., a leading distributor to the graphics communications industry. The goal of the Pitman acquisition was to allow Agfa to expand into new addressable markets.

Also, Eastman Kodak Co. named xpedx its primary national dealer and simultaneously announced it would terminate Pitman’s right to distribute Kodak products effective Oct. 5, 2010.

xpedx says it will minimize impact to customers two ways: by helping customers integrate solutions from other manufacturers or transition to alternative sources for Agfa plates and graphic consumables. Customers will be able to purchase Agfa products from other regional dealers and from Pitman, Agfa’s distribution company.

“Our customers are our highest priority and whether they decide to explore new technologies, or go elsewhere for Agfa products, xpedx will support their needs,” said Dennis Killion, director of marketing-Graphics, xpedx. “Equally important is helping customers grow with complete, integrated systems, and our supplier relationships must reflect that goal.

“Today, our customers receive their plate shipments together with their two other largest purchases: paper and ink,” Killion added. “xpedx will continue to provide customers with the supplies they need to efficiently operate through a single supply chain.”

According to Peter Wilkens, president of Agfa Graphics, “The graphic communications industry is in transition, and we acknowledge that new strategic partnerships are the result of the evolving needs of the marketplace. Thanks to our long-standing business relationship, Agfa and xpedx have agreed to a transition plan that will not cause any concern for our joint customers.”

Agfa Graphics has also invested heavily in its Branchburg, NJ, plate manufacturing facility to upgrade operations, and is working closely with its regional distribution partners. These strategic decisions ensure that the company is prepared and has the capacity and capability to meet demand. The recent addition of Pitman’s product portfolio and technical expertise also means that customers have a unique opportunity to work with a powerful partner for conventional prepress products as well as solutions for the key growth segments in print, such as inkjet, packaging and digital imaging.

Agfa’s Customer Care division and hotline (800-388-2432) are available in the event customers require additional information during the transition.

About Agfa

The Agfa-Gevaert Group is one of the world's leading companies in imaging and information technology. Agfa develops, manufactures and markets analog and digital systems for the printing industry (Agfa Graphics), for the healthcare sector (Agfa HealthCare), and for specific industrial applications (Agfa Materials). Agfa is headquartered in Mortsel, Belgium. The company is present in 40 countries and has agents in another 100 countries around the globe. The Agfa-Gevaert Group achieved a turnover of 2,755 million Euros in 2009.

About Agfa Graphics

Agfa Graphics offers a full range of industrial inkjet production systems and integrated pre-print solutions for the printing industry. These solutions include consumables, hardware, software, and services for production workflow, design and color management. The Company's CtP, CtF and digital proofing systems have positioned it as worldwide leader in the commercial printing and packaging industries as well as newspaper publishing markets.
 
Agfa Graphics is rapidly expanding its range of products and solutions in the growing digital inkjet market. Its experience in both image technology and emulsions has provided the knowledge necessary to make high-quality systems for UV-curable inks. Partnerships with industry leaders in development and manufacturing have expanded the scope of its technology and permitted the company to develop comprehensive digital solutions for printing posters, banners, signs, displays, labels and packaging materials.

Additional product and company information can be found on Agfa's home page at www.agfa.com.

About xpedx
xpedx, a business of International Paper (NYSE: IP), is one of the world’s largest distributors of printing paper and graphic supplies and equipment with more than 230 locations across North America. xpedx distributes a wide variety of printing papers, graphics, packaging and janitorial-sanitary maintenance supplies and equipment to printers, manufacturers, retailers and facilities across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. For more information, visit xpedx.com.

Source: Company press releases.
 

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Most Recent Comments:
Michael Burgard - Posted on November 29, 2010
It never ceases to amaze me at the spin companies can put on bad decisions. AGFA buys Pittman solely because of the huge amount of money Pittman owes AGFA. So what better way to get the money than buy the company? But then in the same breath, Kodak and AGFA both cut off their noses to spite their face. Perhaps this will all be for the best as far as printers are concerned. Tie yourself to a single distributor and make that game work well. Those in bigger cities will have more options but lots of printers will need to pick a distributor first and then go with their plates, ink, etc. That is the wave of the future.
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Archived Comments:
Michael Burgard - Posted on November 29, 2010
It never ceases to amaze me at the spin companies can put on bad decisions. AGFA buys Pittman solely because of the huge amount of money Pittman owes AGFA. So what better way to get the money than buy the company? But then in the same breath, Kodak and AGFA both cut off their noses to spite their face. Perhaps this will all be for the best as far as printers are concerned. Tie yourself to a single distributor and make that game work well. Those in bigger cities will have more options but lots of printers will need to pick a distributor first and then go with their plates, ink, etc. That is the wave of the future.