Convergence Acquires ICL and Zephyr

Posted on 2/24/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Convergence has acquired Images Colour Library Limited, (ICL) a UK based image

library for 3.6 million pounds ($5.2 million dollars) and Zephyr Images, Inc. a San

Diego based library for $2.15 million. These acquisitions are a key stage in the

development of GlobalState's image business, Image State.

GlobalState Holdings, through its subsidiaries ImageState, VideoState and

MusicState, provides pre-edited off and online content for the professional user

worldwide. Sheldon Marshall, former CEO of VCG, is Chief Operating Officer of

Convergence and chief executive and president of GlobalState.

ICL is one of the largest independently owned image libraries in the UK with

approximately 300,000 images, of which 78,000 are in digital format. Richard

Robinson and Peter Robinson own 83% of the company that is based in London and

Leeds and has 23 full time employees. It specializes in the rights protected sector

of the industry. In the year ended March 31, 2000, ICL's earnings before interest and

depreciation were approximately 3.05 million pounds ($4.42 million). This included

a $900,000 loan to Zephyr Images, Inc. which will be repaid on completion of the

acquisition. The offices of ICL in London will be the base for GlobalState's

European operations.

Zephyr is a general image library based in San Diego and is 50% owned by Richard

and Peter Robinson, and 50% by Leo and Melanie Gradinger and other local

management. The company has 200,000 images of which 10,000 are in digital format.

Zephyr operates in the rights protected sector of the industry and its images are

predominantly in the lifestyle, business, concepts, nature and landscape genre. As

of September 30, 2000 Zephyr's earnings before interest and depreciation were

approximately $1.7 million.

Other companies that are part of ImageState include:

    In June of 2000 ImageState acquired Adventure Photo & Film for a net

    consideration of $2.67 million. It is believed the annual turnover of the company

    is approximately $1.3 million. APF is a Ventura, CA photo and film library

    specializing in extreme sports such as mountaineering, rock climbing, sky diving,

    base-jumping, scuba diving and surfing. The library also has extensive wildlife and

    travel imagery. It houses approximately 150,000 still images and hundreds of hours

    of film from over 160 of the world's leading adventure photographers and film

    makers. They had 10 full time employees at the time of the acquisition.

    In late 2000, WestStock and John Foxx images were acquired for an aggregate

    total of 8.3 million pounds (approximately $12 million). In the year ended March

    31, 2000, WestStock's revenue was $1.1 million. WestStock licenses rights to still

    images using both the Rights Protected and Royalty Free strategies and has rights

    to approximately one million images.

    WestStock was one of the early innovators of the digital delivery of imagery

    through CD's and the internet and supplied images for 31 of the first 36 CD's

    produced by PhotoDisc. The company has had its own internet site since 1995. In its

    last fiscal year WestStock's online sales, before photographer's commissions, was

    $579,000, representing approximately 27% of total turnover according to the press

    release. (This would indicate that total revenue was about $2.15 million. The

    inconsistency with the $1.1 million figure reported above could not be explained at

    press time.)

    John Foxx is a Dutch company based in Groningen, Netherlands. It specializes in

    Royalty Free still photography and has 5 full time employees. In the year ended

    December 31, 1999, John Foxx's revenue before tax amounted to NLG 3.12 million

    (approximately $1.3 million).

Following the acquisitions of WestStock and John Foxx, ImageState had over 1 million

images in transparency form and over 40,000 pre-edited images online.

The files of Zephyr and Adventure Photo & Film (APF) will be merged with the files

of WestStock in Seattle. Seattle will become the U.S. headquarters for ImageState,

the still images division of the company. A fully transactional ImageState website

will be launched in April.

MusicState was developed to provide edited rights-cleared music tracks over the

Internet in MP3 format for the professional business user and was launched to a

preliminary market in November 2000. Customers are able to search tracks by genre,

tempo, mood and instrumentation. They can be listened to and purchased online and

downloaded in full broadcast quality for use in advertising, film and other

multi-media applications. MusicState is a 75% owned subsidiary company of

GlobalState Holdings.

In due course, the Director intends to launch VideoState which will provide an

online library of film footage, accessible for the professional user via the

Internet for research and ordering. Users will search the database by subject or

keyword. The selected film footage will, subject to user bandwidth, either be

downloaded online or delivered off-line in existing tape or CD format. VideoState

already has a footage collection acquired from Adventure Photo and Film, based in

Ventura, CA, which will form the basis of its library when the service is


Sheldon Marshall has an employment agreement for an indefinite term and terminable on 12

months' notice by either party. Mr. Marshall receives a basic salary under this

agreement of 120,000 pounds per annum (approximately $175,000).

Copyright © 2001 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 301-251-0720, 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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