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Xeikon fails

July 19, 2005

Xeikon fails
to secure funding
As a sequel to the Xeikon story in the last issue, it is now official: the Belgian company has gone bust. Last November it entered an equivalent of Chapter 11 protection and was given four months by the courts to secure new financing, worth around $40 million. On January 22 Xeikon’s board said that “it does not appear feasible to secure new capital for the company within the time frame of the provisional creditor protection.”
The statement confirmed that several parties have shown an interest in acquiring all or part of the company’s activities and assets. Xeikon has received several non-binding offers, which it soon expects to finalize. After its assets are sold, Xeikon will go into liquidation with the proceeds going towards repaying its outstanding debts. Shareholders are unlikely to receive anything, including Agfa, which has a 25 percent stake and once used Xeikon engines for its ChromoPress range.
Trade speculation at the end of January favored MAN Roland, possibly in partnership with Océ, as the most likely buyers of Xeikon’s digital print engine business. It makes sense, although MAN Roland was making no comment. The German press manufacturer has pinned much of its future digital strategy on the Xeikon toner-based print engine. In February 2000 it launched the sheet-fed DICOpress range based on Xeikon CSP 320 D engines. Late last year it formed a packaging and labels division centered on the web fed DICOpack series of digital packaging and label presses. This uses the same DCP320 S five-colour engine that Nilpeter installs in the DL 3300 digital label and converting press.