386 ZEFA ACQUIRES BENELUX
March 27, 2001
Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, Voorburg, March 2001: visual media international (vmi), which includes the
picture agency Zefa Visual Media (www.zefa.de) with headquarters in DÅsseldorf, has acquired the
Benelux Group situated in the Netherlands and Belgium.
The group's four agencies œ Beneluxpress in the Netherlands and Belgium and Fotostock, also in the
Netherlands and Belgium œ have been integrated competely into visual media international (vmi).
Around 1.5 million new pictures have been added to the visual media archives as a result of this
transaction. Over 200.000 images are available online.
The Benelux Group has over 45% of the market share in Netherlands and Belgium which would put
estimated gross stock photo sales in these two countries in 2000 at under $23 million.
Sales of the Benelux Group in 2000 were 25 Million Dutch Guilders ($10.2 million). Total sales of
visual media international (vmi) including the Benelux Group was approximately 55 million German
Marks ($25.3 million) in the year 2000. Sales for the consolidated group for 2001 are projected at
65 million German Marks ($29.9 million).
The vmi group now includes: Zefa Dusseldorf, Zefa Hamburg, Beneluxpress Netherlands, Beneluxpress
Belgium, Fotostock Netherlands, Fotostock Belgium, Zefa France, Zefa Italy, Zefa Poland and Zefa
Netherlands. They also have sub-agent arrangements with the following agencies: Zefa visual media
Austria, Zefa visual media Portugal, Zefa visual media Turkey and Powerstock zefa UK.
As a result of the Benelux acquisition vmi also acquired its royalty free brand imageshop.com. All
told there are over 30 network partners that represent vmi catalogs and CD-ROM's worldwide.
This makes the group the third largest agency network in the world, after Getty Images and Corbis.
Future expansion plans of visual media international (vmi) include the North American market
according to Tomas Speight, Chief Executive Officer. "We plan to introduce our picture catalogues
together with our online image service in the United States at the beginning of 2002," he
The Benelux Group has a broad selection of images, covering Lifestyle, People and Concept themes.
Along with the field of classic stock, the Benelux Group now offers royalty-free material through
imageshop.com. Furthermore, the product area "Assignment" covers high-end photography for
prestigious clients. Fotostock specializes in the marketing of international stock material, while
Beneluxpress, among other things, has the largest picture archive of the Dutch Royal Family.
"The acquisition of the Benelux Group substantially strengthens visual media international (vmi),"
says Erwin Fey, President of vmi group. "The volume of products has increased; with this expansion
we have achieved market leadership in Europe. With the integration of the Benelux Group we have
extended our access to the market, which is a critical requirement for secure distribution
channels and the achievement of turnover growth."
An interesting side light is that Benelux pays Getty about $1.4 million a year on about $2.3
million of their sales that result from catalogs formerly produced by various companies recently
acquired by Getty.