In an act that re-affirms Getty Images Inc. as one of the world’s leading archive footage houses, the Seattle-based company has acquired the Visual Communications Group (vcg) – its primary competitor – from U.K. holding company United News & Media.
Laurie McEachron, public relations director at Getty, confirms that the deal, which cost US$220 million to close, was financed using the proceeds of a 5% convertible bond note. The addition of VCG’s holdings brings Getty’s total collection up to about 70 million images and 30,000 hours of film. Getty’s 1999 revenues were US$247.8 million.
With claims to be the leading e-commerce provider of images and related products and services, Getty plans to get VCG brands up on its www.gettyone.com site as soon as possible. Sally von Bargen, president of Getty One, explains that Getty Images is organized into four channels. Getty One targets the creative professional marketplace, including website development, broadcasting, advertising and commercial photography.
‘The acquisition of VCG means that we have acquired four of the best brands in the marketplace,’ says von Bargen. ‘These brands are centered on serving the regional needs of the North American, U.K., German and French markets.’ The four brands are: FPG in N.Y., France’s Giraudon, Munich’s Bavaria and the Telegraph Colour Library in the U.K.