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Key Technology, Visys Announce Merger

February 25, 2013

Key Technology Inc. and Visys NV, a leading provider of chute-fed in-air sorters used by food processors and waste recyclers, have entered into a merger agreement. The combination of Key Technology and Visys creates a single source of high-performance, digital sorting technologies for food processing and other industrial markets.

“This partnership with Visys creates a value proposition that is unmatched in the industry,” said Jack Ehren, president and CEO of Key Technology. “Through a single supplier, customers will have access to the highest performing chute-fed and belt-fed sorters available, along with our industry-leading processing systems and unparalleled support to satisfy needs in all steps of the processing line. Given this unprecedented mix of product solutions and services, we’re well positioned to improve customers’ operational efficiencies and maximize their competitive advantages. Furthermore, by consolidating our intellectual property and innovations, we expect to accelerate the development of next-generation sorting technology.”

Visys will continue to operate in Hasselt, Belgium, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Key Technology. Frank Zwerts will assume the position of president of EMEIA for Key Technology and will play a prominent role in Key’s global strategy and corporate development.

“With this merger, the combined entity is at the forefront of vision inspection technology, analytics, and intelligence,” said Zwerts. “Key’s focus on sales, service, and customer relationships worldwide will enable us to deliver the most value to our customers going forward. The Visys team believes in the holistic benefits of combining the two companies, and we are excited to work with Key to accelerate our potential and growth prospects.”

The strengths of Key and Visys are complementary on multiple levels. Visys adds field-proven chute-fed in-air sorters to Key’s family of belt-fed sorters. Plus, Visys has developed advanced laser technology and hyperspectral-based BioPrint sorting, while Key excels with camera/laser sorting and the integration of conveying and other processing systems. Visys adds a dynamic culture of innovation to Key’s hallmarks – 65 years as a supplier, an established global sales and service organization, the financial health and integrity associated with publicly-traded companies, and a culture of strong customer relationships and support

Visys’ chute-fed in-air sorters will augment Key’s product line, which includes belt-fed sorters, complementary conveyors, and other processing systems. Key’s popular belt-fed sorters – Optyx, Tegra, and Manta – identify and remove foreign material and defects from a variety of food products. Veo is Key’s optical sorter for seed corn. Key’s ADR system for potato strips cuts strips to length and removes defects. In addition, Key applies its expertise in product handling with Iso-Flo vibratory conveyors, Horizon horizontal motion conveyors, and Impulse electromagnetic conveyors. Key’s other processing systems include equipment for sizing, grading, and separating, and systems for blanching, air cooling, air cleaning, washing, and feeding. Key’s services include application testing, custom engineering, line integration, installation and start-up, training, and customizable service packages for maintenance and repairs.

Visys’ field-proven sorters – Lynx, Spyder, Python, and Cayman – are used in food processing plants to sort nuts, fruits, vegetables, potato products, seafood, and more. These digital sorters use lasers and/or cameras to identify and remove foreign material and defects from the product stream. Visys’ new hyperspectral-based BioPrint technology enables sorting based on chemical composition and could allow potato processors to detect invisible defects such as sugar-ends and zebra chips. The BioPrint sorter is also ideal for nuts and dried fruit, removing shells, septa, stones, sticks, and hulls. For the waste recycling and material recovery industries, Visys’ Cayman and Spyder products are ideal for polymer typing.

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Key Technology Inc.