Seattle-based Getty Images is waiting for final legal approval to complete their US$183 million acquisition of The Image Bank from Eastman Kodak. Getty sources indicate that the deal should be finalized by the end of the year, with the acquisition being financed by ‘a combination of [Image Bank] debt [payment] and from the proceeds of an approximately five million share offering from Getty Images.’
TIB currently has ten wholly-owned and 62 franchise outlets in 40 different countries, and an archive which includes 10 million images and 5,000 hours of film. As part of the purchase, Getty will acquire all of TIB’s diverse holdings, which include: Archive Photo/Archive Film, the largest collection of archival stills in North America (at 20 million) and 10,000 hours of film; Swanstock, 100,000 mostly fine-art photography images; and Artville, almost 17,000 royalty-free illustrations and photographs.
A Getty spokesperson said it would be difficult to speculate what was to become of the libraries until the deal was wrapped, saying that the company had no ‘hard and fast plans’ for TIB, but that it would probably be in Getty’s best interest to ‘maintain the [Image Bank] brand.
‘It would be typical to leave the brands intact and group them with other like brands… [We have people] looking at all the issues, and getting an awareness of all the questions we’re going to have to answer. Right now, because it is such a big deal – they’re a large company – there are a lot of issues we’re going to have to look at and evaluate and make some decisions on, but we don’t have those plans in place yet.’