Getty Acquires TIB-UK Office

Posted on 11/21/2000 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



November 21, 2000

Getty Images acquired all the outstanding shares of Cass & Cass Limited (TIB-UK) on

September 20, 2000 according to the 3rd Quarter 10Q filed with the SEC. They paid $6.3

million in cash and 247,790 shares worth $10.4 million to Cass & Cass Ltd. for a total

of $17.1 million, including the costs of acquisition.

Companies House in the UK which provides detailed annual accounting figures of Limited

companies shows that the gross turnover (annual income) for Cass & Cass in 1999 was

6,741,654 pounds. If we assume an average annual exchange rate of 1.45 pounds to the

dollar this is equivalent to about $9,775,398 U.S.

An interesting number for photographers is the "Cost of Sales" which includes the amount

of the gross revenue paid to TIB (now Getty Images). The cost of sales was 3,054,394

pounds. This number certainly includes everything that was paid to TIB in the U.S. and

it may include some other costs such as depreciation. This number is only slightly over

45% of the total revenue collected.

TIB-UK retains 40% of the gross fee collected for still photo sales and remits 60% to

TIB headquarters. They retain a lesser percentage of the footage sales. If all of the

3,054,394 is fees paid to headquarters (TIB or Getty) then the total gross sales this

number is calculated on would be no more than 5,090,656 pounds. It may be significantly

less depending of the proportion of these sales that are for footage. Sources in the

United Kingdom believe that only about 2.5 million pounds of the gross revenue comes

from licensing still images. If this is true, footage sales would be slightly above 2

million pounds leaving another 2 million pounds unaccounted for.

During 1999 Cass & Cass operated a scanning bureau and earned income from their own

wholly owned imagery. In addition they may have been charging research fees, service

fees, delivery fees, etc. that were not shared with TIB or the image creators. These

factors may account for the additional 2 million in revenue.

Wholly owning such an operation greatly improves the gross sales on the Getty Images

balance sheet. If 2000 sales were flat Getty would have only recognized 3,054,394

pounds in revenue when TIB-UK was a separate company. Now, with no increase in sales

they get to recognize 6,741,654, a 120% growth in annual revenue from this division of

their operation.

In the 4th quarter of 2000 Getty's annual revenue from this acquisition should increase

by at least $1.3 million (1/4 of $5.25 million) if they have zero increase in sales.

In 1998 the Cass & Cass' Cost of Sales was 3,040,810 pounds. This would be about

$4,409,174 U.S. TIB (parent company) reported that their total sales in Europe in 1998

were $29,932,759. Thus, the UK market made up about 14.7% of their total European


Interestingly, the figures in the Companies House report for "Profit On Ordinary

Activities Before Taxation" was 1,171,055 pounds. Thus, the $17.1 million U.S. would

have been about 10 times gross annual profits which it is my understanding from talking

to people in the investment community is a reasonable multiple for the price being paid

for companies with profits and good growth prospects.

Prior to this sale Mark Cass was director of photography for TIB in New York. We

understand that he is no longer with the company and is moving back to the UK to live.


Mark Cass remains at TIB/Getty until the end of 2000 as

VP/Marketing for the TIB Brand. He also will continue

to live in NYC, in a newly purchased apartment after

selling his home in London.

Copyright © 2000 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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