August 25, 2020
North Channel Bank Provides Financing for Acquisition of Film Material Producers InovisCoat and FilmoTec
North Channel Bank supports the Seal 1818 GmbH investor group in the acquisition of InovisCoat GmbH (spin-off Agfa) and FilmoTec GmbH (spin-off VEB Filmfabrik Wolfen / ORWO). The objective of this merger is to bundle the strengths in the field of analog film and to use the corresponding synergy effects in order to offer turnkey solutions for the film industry under the traditional brand “ORWO”. “Both companies occupy the niche of supplying smaller film productions with film material, a proven lucrative business segment,” says Harald Zenke, Managing Director of North Channel Bank. “We see great potential in this niche strategy and are prepared to provide financing for the merger of two long-established specialist companies, which emerged from the original company Agfa.”
Acquisition Financing in the Growing Analog Film Market
Film material is not only used traditionally for film production and analog photography but is also finding increasing acceptance as a high-quality data storage medium, since film is much more cost-effective, durable, and environmentally friendly than a hard drive. Another field in which film is used is medicine. In Asia in particular, a high-volume market has emerged where the cheaper form of exposing film plates is preferred to digital media. Luminescent products are also experiencing increasing demand from companies using this technology (Glow-Tec®).
“Agfa/ORWO represents over a century of experience and innovation in the field of analog film. Research, development, production, and packaging of film material at the highest level distinguish this company. Together with InovisCoat GmbH, which specializes in the production of innovative coating technology, a company will be created that will be able to react quickly to changes and developments in the film industry,” says Moritz Graf zu Eulenburg, Managing Director of Seal 1818. ” Therefore, with the support of North Channel Bank, we are pleased to proceed further along this path”.
North Channel Bank GmbH & Co. KG was founded in 1924 as the privately owned bank Bankhaus Oswald Kruber located in Berlin. In 2009, a North American group of investors with expertise in the US Life Settlements sector acquired the bank and renamed it North Channel Bank. In the following years, the bank developed into one of the leading institutions in US Life Settlement financing. For many years, the bank has been working with the experienced and renowned US servicer NorthStar Life Services, LLC, a former affiliate, and offers not only financing but also investments in US Life Settlements. The affiliate NorthStar Life Settlements Trading, LLC, Irvine, California, renamed in 2020, handles the trading of policies in this business segment. In the Structured Finance division the bank focuses, in particular on financing in the renewable energy sector (focus: equity interim financing), capital goods, and growth financing.
InovisCoat GmbH was founded in 2005 as a spin-off of the former Agfa in Leverkusen, which represents the long tradition of color film in Germany and Europe. Following Agfa’s bankruptcy, the company moved from Leverkusen to Monheim in 2008, where it set up Agfa’s production and testing facilities. Since then, InovisCoat has earned a reputation as a successful developer and manufacturer of innovative coating products. Through simultaneous multiple coating, not only photographic products, but also products from the medical and security sectors as well as conductive systems can be manufactured.
FilmoTec GmbH is a spin-off of the former VEB Filmfabrik and is still based in Wolfen, Germany. After 1945, Filmfabrik, known under the brand name ORWO, emerged from Agfa, which built its first film factory in Wolfen in 1909. Today, 20 employees work in the areas of research, development, production, configuration, and distribution of ORWO black and white films.
The merger of the respective companies in Seal 1818 GmbH enables a bundling of the individual competences and value chains. As a result, the company can offer its customers a wide range of high-quality color and black and white films.