293 GETTY IMAGES COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF VCG
March 23, 2000
Getty Images, Inc. announced today that it has completed its
acquisition of Visual Communications Group (VCG) from United News & Media PLC.
The acquisition was financed using the proceeds of a $250 million
5% convertible subordinated note offering due 2007, which closed on
March 6, 2000. This leaves Getty with excess cash over and above the $220
million purchase price.
The Company plans to rapidly e-commerce-enable VCG's brands and
expects to have them available on gettyone.com, its creative professional
portal site, very soon, giving creative professionals access to new and
expanded content online.
"Now that we have acquired VCG, our largest competitor, we have cemented
our position as the clear leader in the visual content market," said
Jonathan Klein, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images. "The
continued acceleration of our e-commerce revenue growth, increasing more than
160% in 1999 to $67.9 million, is further validation of our strategy for the
business. We expect the digitization of VCG's operations to contribute to our
business-to-business margins, already exceeding 74%."
VCG's collection includes some of the world's leading brands in stock
photography, including Telegraph Colour Library in the United Kingdom, FPG in
the United States, Bavaria Bildagentur in Germany and Pix in France. VCG also
has several specialty image collections, including Giraudon, a fine art
library based in Paris; Planet Earth, a natural history collection; Space
Frontiers, a collection of space imagery; and Colorific!, a news and feature
agency focusing primarily on celebrity material, based in London. These
collections feature strong, local content that complements Getty Images'
VCG will become part of gettyone, the creative professional channel of
Getty Images, with the exception of Colorific!, which will be integrated into
the gettysource channel, serving press and editorial customers.