Getty Images übernimmt VCG

23.02.2000, 00 Uhr


GETTY IMAGES ACQUIRES VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, ITS LARGEST COMPETITOR

Acquisition fuels e-commerce efforts and adds strong international brands and content


SEATTLE  (February 28, 2000 - iBOT) – Getty Images, Inc. (NASDAQ: GETY), the leading e-commerce provider of imagery and related products and services, today announced that it has agreed to acquire Visual Communications Group (VCG), its largest competitor, from United News & Media PLC. The addition of VCG further strengthens Getty Images’ unrivalled leadership position in the visual content industry by any measure, including revenues, e-commerce revenues, customer base, global distribution capacity, brands, profitability and depth and breadth of content.
The consideration for the acquisition is $220 million. The acquisition will be financed through the proceeds of a convertible subordinated note offering by Getty Images, which was announced today. The acquisition of VCG is expected to be immediately accretive to EBITDA and cash earnings per share.
“The addition of VCG reinforces our leadership position in the visual content industry in terms of revenue, customer base and global distribution reach, in addition to further strengthening our multi-brand, vertical portal strategy for our four customer groups,” said Mark Getty, co-founder and Executive Chairman of Getty Images. “The Web is all about access and the ability to customize products and services to suit the needs of different markets. Making VCG’s strong and established local brands available alongside our global brands on gettyone.com greatly enhances our offerings.”
VCG’s core brands will be incorporated into Getty Images’ gettyone channel, targeting the creative professional market. The brands will be featured on the channel’s vertical portal, gettyone.com, alongside the Company’s other brands and third-party partners providing imagery and related products. Following the acquisition, Getty Images’ collection will be in excess of 70 million images and more than 27,000 hours of footage.
“As VCG is an almost entirely analog company, we intend to use our e-commerce expertise to accelerate its growth rate in much the same way that we have accelerated growth in our Tony Stone Images brand by bringing it online,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images. “The growth rate of Tony Stone Images of more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter of 1999 represents significant momentum in revenue growth over prior periods and is largely due to e-commerce, which has driven sales, attracted new customers and significantly improved profitability.”
VCG is the world’s second largest stock photography business and is Getty Images’ largest competitor. VCG consists primarily of four major brands, licensing imagery in separate geographic regions: Telegraph Colour Library in the United Kingdom, FPG in the United States, Bavaria Bildagentur in Germany and Pix in France. VCG also distributes its imagery in other markets through third party agents. VCG also has several speciality image collections, including Giraudon, a fine art library based in Paris; Planet Earth, a natural history collection; Space Frontiers, a collection of space imagery; and Colorific, a news and feature agency focusing primarily on celebrity material, based in London. In 1999, VCG acquired Definitive Stock, a Seattle-based provider of royalty-free imagery online, which functions as its internal technology group.
“Through its investment in market-leading brands and technology, Getty Images continues to revolutionize and lead the industry by any measure,” said Andrew Nugée, Chief Executive of VCG. “By joining with Getty Images, we greatly expand our opportunities to grow our business and to use technology to leverage our collections.”
Getty Images recently announced financial results for fourth quarter of 1999 and for the full year. Driven largely by the Company’s increasing e-commerce efforts, sales for the quarter exceeded expectations, increasing 60 percent over the fourth quarter of 1998 to $79.9 million. Sales for 1999 increased 34 percent over 1998 to $247.8 million. Getty Images e-commerce revenue for the fourth quarter 1999 grew more than 220 percent over the fourth quarter of 1998 to $24.5 million accounting for 34 percent of total sales (excluding The Image Bank). E-commerce sales for the full year were $67.9 million, an increase of 160 per cent over 1998, clearly demonstrating the Company’s ability to improve revenues through the application of e-commerce.

About Getty Images
Getty Images, Inc., with over 60 million images and more than 27,000 hours of film, is the leading e-commerce provider of imagery and related products and services. The company’s four channels provide high-quality, branded imagery, meeting the distinctly different needs of customers in the following market segments:
 Creative Professional - advertising, design agencies, web designers and corporate marketing
 Press and Editorial - magazines, newspapers, book publishers and web publishers
 Business User - business communications and small-office, home-office (SOHO)
 Consumer - framed and unframed art and related products
The company uses its extensive web-technology expertise to create vertical portals that allow customers to quickly and easily access and purchase images. Headquartered in Seattle, the company has approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, and had total revenues of $247.8 million in 1999, of which e-commerce revenues were $67.9 million.
For more information on Getty Images and its market-leading brands please visit the company’s web site at http://www.gettyimages.com.

CONTACTS:
Getty Images:
Laurie McEachron
+1 (206) 268-1914
Public Relations Director
mailto:laurie.mceachron@gettyimages.com

Mary Waters-Sayer
(+44 171) 544-2973 or (+1 206) 268-1913
Vice President, Investor and Public Relations
mailto:mary.waters.sayer@gettyimages.com


Text 100 Public Relations (Media Contacts):
Anne Taylor
+1 (206) 381-3791 x141
mailto:annet@text100.com

Rebecca Gelinas
+1 (206) 381-3791 x116
mailto:rebeccag@text100.com


Getty Images / VCG Fact Sheet

Visual Communications Group Getty Images
Year founded
1938 [FPG] 1923 [Bavaria] 1995

Number of Employees
Approximately 600 Approximately 2,000

Principal Management Andrew Nugée
CEO Jonathan Klein Mark Getty
co-founder & CEO co-founder & Chairman
Funding Subsidiary
of United News & media
Public (July 1996)
NASDAQ: GETY
Size of collection 10 million images More than 60 million images and 27,000 hours of film footage
Product
Lines Stock Photography
FPG International, Telegraph Colour Library, Pix, Giraudon, Bavaria Bildagentur, Colorific!, Planet Earth Pictures, Space Frontiers Stock Photography/Footage, Art and Art Related Products
Allsport, Art.com, ARA, Energy Film Library, EyeWire Hulton-Getty, Liaison Agency, Newsmakers, Online USA, PhotoDisc, Stone, The Image Bank
Customers Creative Professionals,
Editorial Professionals Creative Professionals, Editorial Professionals, Business Users, Consumers

Headquarters
Visual Communications Group
Visual House, 1 Mastmaker Road,
London E14 9WT

Getty Images, Inc.
701 North 34th Street
4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98103
URL
http://www.vcg-group.com
http://www.gettyimages.com


Description of Visual Communications Group:
Founded in 1938, and with a collection of more than 4 million images, VCG is the second largest stock photography company in the world. The company consists primarily of four major brands, licensing stock photography in the four major markets for visual content: FPG International in the United States, Telegraph Colour Library in the UK, Bavaria in Germany and Pix in France.

Description of Getty Images, Inc.:
Getty Images, Inc., with over 60 million images and more than 27,000 hours of film, is the leading e-commerce provider of imagery and related products and services. The company uses its extensive web-technology expertise to create vertical portals that allow customers to quickly and easily access and purchase images. Headquartered in Seattle, the company has approximately 2,000 employees worldwide, and had revenues of $79.9 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. The company’s 1999 revenues were $247.8 million.

Contacts:

Getty Images
Laurie McEachron
Public Relations Director
(206) 268-1914
mailto:laurie.mceachron@gettyimages.com

Mary Waters-Sayer
Vice President, Investor and Public Relations
(44 171) 544-2973 or (206) 268-1913
mailto:mary.waters.sayer@gettyimages.com



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