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Koenig & Bauer

(Frankfurt, Munich:KBA) and

Scitex Corporation

(Nasdaq:SCIX) are killing their joint venture, Karat Digital Press.

A Scitex spokesperson said that most of Karat's development and manufacturing activity has been transferred to Germany. Scitex will be transferring 20 Karat workers who were engaged in the development and manufacturing of print heads to


, she said.

The spokesperson said Scitex will try to reassign the remaining workers to other subsidiaries. Karat had a staff of 50.

Karat had designed a digital offset press in which the printing plates are manufactured on the drum. Scitex entered into the venture in order to expand into preprint control and computer to plate. But the Israeli company lost interest in Karat after selling its digital preprint division to the Canadian company

Creo Products

(Nasdaq:CREO) and turning into an investment company.

During the fourth quarter, Scitex also decided to abandon its joint venture with

British Telecom

(BUE:BTY.BA), Vio Worldwide. Scitex decided to cut its $30 million losses and hand the whole business to BT, for free. Now BT has had enough, and is closing it down after a managemeny buyout plan failed.

Scitex's losses on Vio and Karat led it to post a net loss of $16 million for the fourth quarter of 2000, compared with a net profit of $12.8 million for the fourth quarter of 1999.