9IMAGESTATE SPLIT UP
May 17, 2006
Getty Images has made a deal to acquire the 17,000 John Foxx RF image collection from Image State for approximately $1.5 million or about $88 per image. The bankruptcy court still needs to approve this deal and it has not been officially announced. Some of these RF images do not have model releases so Getty may decide not to use them. Also, many of the images are up to ten years old and showing their age.
It is believed that the gross revenue generated for Image State by the John Foxx collection in 2005 was about $650,000 U.S. with about 73% of that coming from distributors and the rest from direct sales by the UK and U.S. offices.
Sources also indicate that Sheldon Marshall of Heritage Images made a bid of several hundred thousand dollars for the RM collection and this offer was accepted on May 12, 2005. It is believed that these images generated about $2.1 million for Image State in 2005 with approximately 40% of that revenue coming from the 50 or so distributors around the world that represent Image State.
Marshall, as many may recall, was the founder and CEO of VCG (Visual Communications Group) in the latter half of the 1990's. He was eventually replaced as CEO by Andrew Nugee who sold VCG to Getty Images in March of 2000. After leaving VCG, Marshall founded Convergence which later became Global State Holding, which later became Image State.
Some believe that even several hundred thousand dollars may have been a high price to pay for the RM side of Image State considering that many of the RM contributors may decide not to work with Marshall and demand that their images be returned.
In the last few months the staff at Image State has been sorting the transparencies that remained in the file and returning them to the photographers. It is believed that most of the images have either been retuned to the photographers or are on their way back. According to sources only a small percentage of the total collection remains in the offices. The administrators were asked to structure the deal so that any purchaser, (in this case Marshall) would be responsible to return all the images. However, it is unclear how the final deal was worded.
It is also believed that Marshall will be responsible to pay all royalties to photographers that are still outstanding.
It is estimated that gross revenue for the company for calendar 2004 was about $7 million and for 2005 it was a little under $6 million. Among those who were in the bidding for part or all of the company were: Corbis, Jupiterimages and Masterfile.