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Agfa confirms Offset Solutions sale

Agfa has found a buyer for its Offset Solutions division, and plans to sell it to Aurelius Group in a €92m (£78.7m) deal.

Agfa’s share price jumped by more than 10% after the agreement was announced this morning

Offset Solutions is Agfa’s biggest division. It had sales of €748m last year and reduced its adjusted EBITA loss from €21.9m to €6m.

In Q1 and Q2 of this year the unit was back in the black due to a combination of price increases and cost cutting measures.

At the beginning of last year Agfa began the process of restructuring Offset Solutions into a separate entity, which would facilitate a sale or merger of the operation.

Luxembourg-headquartered Aurelius Group has a wide portfolio of investments including media and technology, chemicals, business services, consumer goods, food and beverage, and telecoms. It had consolidated revenues of nearly €2.6bn last year.

Offset Solutions employs around 1,700 at its worldwide manufacturing and sales operations, and the business is active in more than 75 countries. Around 130 employees are involved in R&D.

Its product range encompasses offset printing plates, CTP systems, workflow software, pressroom chemicals, films, and proofing media.

Aurelius founding partner Dr Dirk Markus said that the fresh ownership would enable Offset Solutions to become a leading player in industry consolidation.

“Agfa Offset Solutions is a well-suited addition to the Aurelius portfolio. Continued innovation of plate technology and associated software solutions, as well as post-pandemic market trends, have created an opportunity for Aurelius to leverage its existing expertise to capture growth in the pre-press market,” he said.

“This will be supported by a focus on growth markets such as packaging and prepress software. Innovative research and the support of Aurelius will enable the firm to lead the ongoing industry consolidation.”

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and consultations with employees. It is expected to be completed in Q1 2023.

Agfa CEO Pascal Juéry described the sale as “a major step” in Agfa’s ongoing transformation process.

“It will enable us to increase our focus on our growth businesses, which is crucial to our future success in our markets. After having examined all options, we believe that the proposed transaction is the best possible solution for all stakeholders: the employees working in the division, the customers in the offset industry and our shareholders,” he stated.

“Corporate carve-outs require experienced partners. With Aurelius, Agfa has found the ideal partner for the transaction. We are convinced Aurelius’ impressive track record in the industrial sector will provide the foundation for future growth of the Offset Solutions division.”

Aurelius’ past involvement with the printing industry came via its ownership of Stralfors, which it rebranded as Imprimus, and Office Depot Europe.

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