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Agfa States Their Position on the U.S. Dealer Channel, Enovation

Press release from the issuing company

December 14, 2001 - Agfa has reconfirmed their support and stated their position of the US dealer channel in an interview conducted this week with WhatTheyThink.com. The comments were in response to Agfa’s decision to pull their products from graphic arts distribution giant, Enovation. Enovation has criticized the action and disagrees with Agfa’s decision. In November, Agfa notified Enovation that they would not continue their relationship with the newly formed company. Enovation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. Fuji created the entity by acquiring PrimeSource, Heartland Imaging and Graphic Systems in September. Fuji is a direct competitor of Agfa. Denis Griff, Director of Business Development for Agfa Graphic Systems, said their initial intent was to establish a new relationship with Enovation and their management team. Said Griff, “We were assured that Enovation would operate separately from Fuji and be a completely separate subsidiary focused on distribution. Unfortunately, the representations made by Enovation’s senior management team of their business strategy quickly changed with the appointment of a number of key personnel from Fuji.” As Agfa learned of subsequent management and board appointments, the company decided it would be in their best interest not to use Enovation as a sales channel. Griff said their plans to convert existing Agfa customers purchasing from Enovation have gone very well with efforts to ensure no interruption in supply. Recently, Enovation’s President, Jim Mullan told WhatTheyThink.com that he was disappointed with Agfa’s strategy in the U.S. Said Mullan, “I do not support that decision and their view of the channel, but it was their choice. At PrimeSource, (Mullan was previously CEO of PrimeSource) we always had a very healthy relationship with Agfa and it is unfortunate that it could not continue with Enovation. Enovation can not afford, nor does it have the desire, to become a partner that conflicts with the companies we sell for.” Griff predicted further consolidation but said Agfa has no plans to acquire or take an equity position in their dealers as Fuji has done. Declared Griff, “Dealers are an important part of Agfa’s strategy to sell and distribute products across the printing and publishing industry in the U.S. Many products provided by dealers are complimentary and help to support Agfa’s complete portfolio strategy in the majority of segments within the industry. Without a dealer network, it would be difficult for Agfa to support our base of 17,000 customers with the service levels they expect.” --------- More details are posted in an interview at WhatTheyThink.com. Griff and Susan Wittner, Director of Marketing for Agfa Graphic Systems team up to discuss: - How Agfa’s Horizon Plan has effected their US graphic arts business - Reasons for their growing share in CTP placements - Importance of Internet workflow, Delano and beta activities with Quebecor - Agfa’s outlook for 2002 - and much more on the distribution channel: Enovation, Xpedx, Pitman