9 Agency Consolidation
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
Anton Dentler will continue with the company for 18 months. There are no plans for
other staff changes at Bavaria.
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.
Visual Communications Group
Visual House, 1 Mastmaker Road
London E14 9WT
126 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10011