Agency Consolidations

Posted on 2/15/1996 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

The Visual Communications Group in London acquired Bavaria, one of the largest stock agencies in Germany for an undisclosed amount in February. Previously, VCG owned the Telegraph Colour Library and Colorific in London and Pix in Paris.

VCG is a subsidiary of the Express Newspapers in the United Kingdom and was acquired for approximately $42,250,000 in the summer of 1994. The acquisition of Bavaria should make it a significantly larger division of the Express group.

According to Sheldon Marshall, "VCG has had a close working relationship with Bavaria since 1988. We have represented their catalog and they ours. Bavaria's founder and owner Anton Dentler wants to focus his future energies toward the creative side of the business, and we at VGC are interested in the management and marketing side."

Both the Telegraph Colour Library and Bavaria produce large catalogs. Marshall indicated, "There are no plans to consolidate future catalogs into one single product. The markets have different needs and we intend to continue to operate the agencies as independent units."

Anton Dentler will continue with the company for 18 months. There are no plans for other staff changes at Bavaria.

Index Stock

Index Stock in New York has acquired Profiles West or Buena Vista, CO on January 2, 1996. The 300,000 images of Profiles West are being integrated with Index's 550,000 images to produce a library of approximately 850,000 images.

The two files complement each other. The strengths of the Profiles West file is in western life styles; people engaged in outdoor activities, western scenics, wildlife and agriculture. Index had a need for imagery in these areas.

Both Allen Russell, former owner of Profiles West and Bahar Gidwani CEO of Index Stock have been leaders in the use of technology to develop new markets for stock photography.

In 1993 Russell produced a CD-ROM disc of 2,200 images and he was one of the first agencies to place images on Kodak Picture Exchange (now owned by Sprint). Index also has some 30,000 images on KPX. In addition Index has electronic sites on CompuServe, PressLink, Homework Helper and the World Wide Web. It is developing areas on Microsoft Network and AT&T Interchange.

Index also has a catalog CD-ROM disc with 5,114 images, and has supplied images for at least two clip-photo CD-ROM's. Photographers have the option to pick and choose the programs in which they want to participate.

Allen Russell will sit on the Board of Advisors of Index Stock. As Executive Director of Photography he will focus much of his efforts on image acquisition. He will also return to full scale image production himself.

Index was purchased by Mr. Gidwani and a group of investors in 1991. In 1993 they merged with Telephoto, another New York based agency. Index has worldwide distribution through 32 international stock photo agents.

Contact Information

Sheldon Marshall
Visual Communications Group
Visual House, 1 Mastmaker Road
London E14 9WT
Phone: 071-363-1212
Fax: 071-515-7080

Bahar Gidwani
Index Stock
126 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 212-929-4644
Fax: 212-633-1914

Copyright © 1996 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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