VCG For Sale

Posted on 11/29/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



November 29, 1999

United News & Media, (UNM) parent of Visual Communications Group (VCG), and

Carlton Communications have

announced a £7.8 billion ($12.6 billion) merger that will create a powerful

force in independent television in the UK.

The new group will divest several businesses, including Technicolor, Carlton's

video duplication business, United Advertising & Periodicals, VCG and selected

non-core assets of Miller Freeman and Carlton's products division.

The two companies are about equal in size with Carlton valued at £3.5 billion

and UMN at £3.7 billion at last week's close. The two ITV companies

may control more than 25% of the national television advertising revenue in the


In their June 30, 1999 quarterly report UNM said that VCG had £27.7 million

($44.5 million) in gross sales in the first six months of 1999. This was down

from £28.2 million ($45.3 million) for the same period in 1998. If they

have similar results in the last half of 1999 gross sales will be under $90

million for the year with a downward trend.

Profits for VCG dropped to £2.1 million from £3.5 million in the previous


According to Andrew Nugee, VCG CEO, "The decision does not in any way reflect a

lack of confidence in VCG, its staff or its strategy. In fact United has made

considerable investment in the business over the last twelve months and as a

result we are in good shape to face the future."

Falloff In Sales

The falloff in sales may be significant since we reported in October The Image

Bank's sales of still images was also off for the first half of 1999. This means

that the number two and number three companies in the industry both had a drop in

sales in the first half of 1999. Neither of these companies has a strong royalty

free segment to their business.

Getty Images reported growth in the first half of 1999, but a significant portion

of their revenue comes from the world's top selling Royalty Free company,


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 301-251-0720, 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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