Agfa sheds Matrix cameras without networking value

July 14, 1993

Agfa continues to refine its marketing focus with the sale thismonth of the Orangeburg, NY-based facility the company acquiredwhen it bought Matrix Instruments in 1988 (SCAN 12/14/88). Thesale marks the second time in four months that Agfa has

Agfa continues to refine its marketing focus with the sale thismonth of the Orangeburg, NY-based facility the company acquiredwhen it bought Matrix Instruments in 1988 (SCAN 12/14/88). Thesale marks the second time in four months that Agfa has trimmedoperations by selling a business unit. Agfa is narrowing its medicalimaging product line to emphasize systems with networking capability.

Agfa sold the Orangeburg unit to an employee-led group headedby the facility's operations manager, Edwin Costa. The new companywill be called Visiplex Instruments, according to Seamus Carroll,a former Agfa executive and now a vice president of marketingat Visiplex. Visiplex Instruments is structured as a limited partnership,with a Chicago-based communications company, Visiplex Communications,as general partner.

"We saw a major opportunity for the future (with the facility),and Agfa didn't share that opinion," Carroll said. "Somanagement got together and researched a financial backer. Weput a deal together, Agfa liked the offer and took it."

The Orangeburg facility had annual revenues of about $25 million,according to Carroll. The dollar value of the sale was not disclosed.

New executive officers in addition to Costa and Carroll includeLloyd Robbins as vice president of research and development andBernd Keusemann as vice president of European operations.

Visiplex will assume manufacturing of the fixed-format compactcameras still in production that Agfa bought in the Matrix sale.Agfa has phased out production of Matrix's large-format camerasin favor of a system of its own design. Agfa will retain thatcamera, according to Carroll.

Visiplex plans to introduce a new compact camera, CCM600. CCM600is a fixed-format 8 x 10-inch system for the ultrasound market.Visiplex will also continue to sell Agfa's compact CR620, whichhas been renamed the CCM620. The company will also continue tosupply cameras to Agfa's OEM customers, which include GE, Philips,Siemens and ADAC.

The new company has plans to expand its camera line, as wellas explore opportunities in display and storage technology forpicture archiving and communications systems.

In April, Agfa sold a Torrance, CA-based facility that hadbeen producing a device that digitizes and displays cine imagesfor cardiac catheterization laboratories (SCAN 4/7/93).

The major medical film and digital imaging vendor decided tosell the business units in order to focus operations on productswith networking connectivity, such as laser printers, accordingto an Agfa spokesperson.