Forte papers WILL BE available
To let you this community know, I just received this email from Robert Vonk (fotohuis) with his permission to pass it on here (he's a friend of mine). Also you can check the www.aphog.de site (the German part of the message is from this site, at the bottom is a rough translation (please someone with native knowledge of German, do correct my translation)):
News: Rettung für Forte?
Im Moment verhandeln folgende s/w-Spezialisten und Partner:
Wolfgang Moersch (Hürth, Deutschland)
Bergger (Paris, Frankreich)
Foma Bohemia S.R.O. (Hradec Kralové, Tchechische Republik)
Fotohuis RoVo (Ravenstein, Niederlande)
über eine Übernahme von Forte (P.W.) Papiere und die zukunfstige Herstellung
in der tchechischen Republik. Inzwischen wurde ein Geldbetrag von den
Partnern auf den Tisch gelegt um das alles möglich zu machen. Weitere
Informstionen dazu werden in den nächsten 2 Wochen erwartet..
Also involved and due to the mess with Impex/Efke/Freestyle and Rollei/Maco
a new extended I.R. 850nm film, based on APX100. Also this new film will be
produced by Gevaert (former R&D lab from Agfa in Mortsel, Belgium).
The above mentioned people/companies are going to take over the production of Forte papers in the Czech Republic. The money was already paid. Further info should follow in 2 weeks
So the implication is that the Forte papers will now be made in the Foma plant?
Is the Forte equipment being moved to the Foma plant? How about the Forte employees? If it's just the formulas that are moving, then they can make something similar, maybe better, maybe worse, but it won't be the same.
David, no further info on my part. Please wait for more information from Robert Vonk (fotohuis), who is I think well known in this community.
Looking is a gift, but seeing is power.
in the german original it is said that the new partners have negotiations with Forte concerning a production of the paper in the future. Therefore we have to wait and see, wether the negotiations will be successful.
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My guess is that the Croatians have come to a deal with Forte (with the support of the partners mentioned) to produce the papers using the Forte formulas in their plant. They won't be the same, that's for sure. But let's hope they will be as interesting as the original Forte stuff. And the variety offered will still be there (the graded ones, most important of all).
Originally Posted by George Papantoniou
Foma is located in the Czech Republic. The Croatians are the Fotokemika Nova (Efke) people, but they are not involved.
Well, let's be honest...
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
As a user of Forte's VC papers for three years...Forte papers weren't necessarily the same from one batch to the next
I remain skeptical but hope things work out.
One thing's for certain...you can't tell the players without the proverbial scorecard at the moment.
If you translate this announcement more carefully you will see that it says that the above group of people has the intention to do what they describe and that money has been raised and put on their table to make a proposal to Forte.
I wonder what drives so many people lately to announce things in internet forums which are at that particular point only in planing stage.
Here it reads as if things were definite yet and the paper was just about to be produced again.
I am just returning from Budapest and my view on the situation is:
Point 1: Nothing has been decided by the owners of Forte yet and probably won´t be in short term
Point 2: The situation down there is currently of a kind which does not put any pressure on the owner to make anykind of an immediate decision
Point 3: Fomas coating line differs substantually from Fortes (I know both) and a smooth transfer will be VERY difficult if not impossible
Point 4: There have been earlier attempts by other, very prominent companies who did not succed and I would really wonder why this project suddenly should be much luckier than them
Point 5: The stage described in the announcement from Fotohuis (want to save the paper and make a proposal, have a budget to do that, have good plans of what to do) has been reached at least by three other groups before (including Fotoimpex) and where did they get: nowhere, sofar.
Sorry to say this. I hope I don´t get stamped as the bad news guy here but these announcements lately make me wonder.
But maybe they work a miracle. Let´s wish them good luck. We´d definitely like to continue to carry this paper in our portfolio.