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Blu-ray pioneer Infodisc closes; MD joins kdg launching own BD production

Founded twelve years ago by Michael Gutowski, Infodisc Technology, based in Renchen, Germany, became the first independent Blu-ray disc replicator in Europe when it installed BD lines in 2007, the year the hidef format launched.

The considerable capital investment required combined with the inability to recover it with ever thinner margins on DVD production, not helped by the current economic conditions, have taken its toll, says the company.

Last October, Infodisc called on the administrators who started bankruptcy protection procedures. Harald Kroth of Schultze & Braun was appointed provisional liquidator. "This allows us to work through existing contracts and to search for solutions to save the company and its 45 jobs, for example, through a reorganization or with the help of an investor," said Kroth.

However, by the December deadline, the company was declared insolvent and closed down, with assets seeking buyers. The insolvency fund guaranteed employees' salaries to December.

Gutowski is not about to leave the Blu-ray scene. He remains in charge of Infomedia, the DVD/BD design and authoring arm of the Infodisc Group he set up in 2008. It became one of Europe's first facilities to offer a full 3D BD service including 3D authoring and subtitling of Blu-ray discs.

Capitalising on his knowledge of the Blu-ray market, kdg has asked Gutowski to head their Blu-ray disc sales as the Elbigenalp, Austria-based independent replicator is launching its BD replication facilities.

Until now, kdg processed its Blu-ray orders in cooperation with Infodisc. With the latter's demise, kdg has decided to set up its own BD production capacity. There will be two lines - one of them from the Infodisc plant that will be operational next week, DVD Intelligence was told. A second BD line has been commissioned.

"It's an exciting moment for us,"? explained kdg's managing director Michael Hosp. "Since we regard ourselves as a general contractor for independents in the media sector and have already been offering Blu-ray authoring services for over a year, it was important for us to have our own Blu-ray Disc manufacturing operations if only to bolster the flexibility of our customer support."

"Michael Gutowski had been instrumental in preparing the ground for Bluray on the independents' market and as a pressing plant supplier,"? said Hosp. "He is passionate about sales and marketing, and a long-standing partner."

In addition to its sales and distribution centres in Elbigenalp, and Paris as well as an sales office in Merano, Italy, kdg has open a sales office in Baden-Baden, Germany, run by Gutowski.

Story filed 12.01.12

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