Getty buys The Image Bank

Posted on 9/21/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire

The Image Bank from Eastman Kodak Company for $183 million.

The cash acquisition is expected to close in December 1999. It will be financed

through a combination of debt, and from the proceeds of an approximately five

million share offering by Getty Images, which is expected to be filed shortly.

Currently Getty's total outstanding shares are 35.4 million and the additional

shares will push their number of shares above 40 million. Shares were trading

today around $23.

Getty had $183 million is sales in 1998 and $107.1 million in the first six

months of 1999. TIB's revenues in 1998 were $70 million. Once this acquisition

is complete, and assuming no additional acquisitions, Getty's revenues in 2000

should be in excess of $285 million.

This acquisition puts Getty Images in an unassailable leadership position in

terms of gross revenues in the stock photo industry. The nearest challenger is

Visual Communications Group of London with slightly over $100 million in gross

sales. Corbis would now be number three and I estimate that they are in the $50

to $60 million range of gross sales.

The Image Bank has an international network of 10 wholly owned and 62 franchisee

offices spanning 40 countries. With this acquisition Getty expands its global

distribution network to 56 wholly owned offices in more than 20 countries, and

more than 165 agents and licensees worldwide.

Following the acquisition of The Image Bank, Getty Images will have in excess of

60 million images and more than 30,000 hours of


Getty has approximately 1,600 employees worldwide and TIB has about 500


"We are delighted about the acquisition of The Image Bank, not only because of

their exceptional content, but due to the significant

opportunity for both improving the revenue growth rate at The Image Bank and

also driving margin improvement through the application of our proven e-commerce

strategy," said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Getty

Images. "In much the same way that we successfully e-commerce enabled Tony Stone

Images, thereby increasing its growth rate, we expect to bring The Image Bank

online, providing access to more potential markets as well as

significant operating benefits."

"Becoming part of Getty Images brings unprecedented opportunities to expand our

business and to focus more closely on our Internet sales efforts," said Rex V.

Jobe, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Image Bank. "By joining

forces with the market

leader in e-commerce, we will be able to introduce even more customers to our

imagery and to make use of the Internet to increase distribution and enhance

operating efficiencies."

The Image Bank's imagery and brands include:

  • The Image Bank - contemporary stock photography and

    film footage with 10 million images and 5,000 hours of

    footage. TIB has more than 1,500 photographers and illustrators and over 200

    cinematographers. The library of TIB's Film Division is 100% digitized and


  • Archive Photos - the largest collection of archival

    still imagery in North America with 20 million images.

  • Archive Film - 10,000 hours of archival footage.

  • Swanstock - A fine-art library of 100,000 images.

  • Artville - 16,500 royalty-free illustrations and photographs.

For more on the implications of this acquisition for photographers see

(Story 248.)

Copyright © 1999 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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