Transactions

June 2011
Sydney, Australia
has been acquired by
Seattle, Washington


Background

The Photolibrary Group was founded in 1967 in Sydney, Australia.  Over 40 years, the company had become a global player in the stock photography industry, establishing offices in fourteen countries on four continents.  As the evolution of digital photography and internet distribution caused considerable disruption to the stock photography industry, Photolibrary outlasted many of the traditional stock photography companies and remained a formidable independent player.  While the company had held some discussions with other industry players over time, the shareholders had different opinions as to the value of the business. Upon receipt of significant interest from a leading industry player and major competitor, Photolibrary’s board of directors engaged M&A to run a process to identify and evaluate potential buyers while progressing the discussion with the existing suitor.  Ultimately the shareholders agreed to sell the business to the largest industry player, Getty Images.



M&A organized a team to manage the process.  The team worked with Management to be able to present the firm in the best light to multiple constituencies; led preparations for due-diligence reviews; identified key strengths and weaknesses, and worked with the company to strengthen those weaknesses before presenting to outside parties.  

Photolibrary’s disparate shareholder base (comprised of management, individual investors and institutional investors) presented challenges in negotiating an agreement acceptable to all parties.  Complicating matters further, the difference in the time zones between parties in Australia, London, Seattle, and New York, provided some logistical challenges to be managed.  Approximately five months after engaging M&A, Photolibary was acquired by Getty Images.  The acquisition of Photolibrary considerably strengthened Getty Images’ market position in Asia, Australia and the UK.  At the same time, longtime shareholders of Photolibrary were able to realize the value from their investment in Photolibrary with an exit to the leading player in the industry.

Marlin & Associates managed the process, assisted in the negotiations and acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Photolibrary Group.

Getty Images Acquires Photolibrary To Expand Digital Content Offering

May 04, 2011

Getty Images has acquired competitor The Photolibrary Group, which provides access to over 10 million images, footage and music files. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Photolibrary brings to Getty Images a broad range of content, some with regional appeal, including renowned collections such as Peter Arnold and Oxford Scientific.

Photolibrary’s content will be licensed through Getty Images’ global distribution platform, which enables search in local languages and single image purchases in local currencies.

Additionally, Photolibrary’s presence in India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia will make it possible for Getty Images to expand its products and services to customers in those regions.

Last week, Getty Images announced that it acquired PicScout for a reported $20 million.

Marlin & Associates acted as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to The Photolibrary Group.

About the Photolibrary Group (www.photolibrary.com ).  The Photolibrary Group was founded in 1967 in Sydney Australia.  Over 40 years, the company has established offices in 14 countries around the world including: the United Kingdom (London and Leeds), Italy, USA (New York, Chicago and San Francisco), Australia (Sydney and Melbourne), Singapore, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates and Paris, France.  The Photolibrary Group represents the world’s leading stock brands and the finest photographers from around the world and gives customers with access to over 11 million images, 2,000 hours of footage and more than 20,000 full composition music tracks, available online via www.photolibrary.com  (General Rights managed and royalty free images ), www.photostogo.com  (royalty free subscription service ) and the specialist agencies www.osfimages.com  and www.osffootage.com  (natural world images and footage), www.gardenpicture.com  (horticultural and botanical), www.monsoonimages.com  (fine art), , www.freshfoodimages.com  (food and drink) and  www.peterarnold.com .   In addition to a unique set of wholly owned brands, the group offers customers over 300 partner brands and represents over 4,000 professional photographers from around the world.   

About Getty Images

Getty Images has an eye out for the big picture. The visual content provider is a major supplier of creative and editorial imagery, photography, stock footage, and music. It also offers photo services for corporate clients. The company targets markets such as advertising and graphic design firms; editorial organizations (newspapers, magazines, and online publishers); corporate communications departments; and film and broadcast producers. Getty Images has customers in more than 100 countries around the world; most of its sales come from outside the US. Getty Images was founded 1995 by Mark Getty (chairman) and Jonathan Klein (CEO). Today private equity firm Hellman & Friedman owns the company.

About Marlin & Associates

Marlin & Associates Holding LLC is a boutique investment banking and strategic advisory firm specializing in acquisitions and divestitures of U.S. and international middle-market firms that provide technology, digital information and healthcare-related products, technology and services. Marlin & Associates Securities LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marlin & Associates Holding LLC, is a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is a FINRA/SIPC member firm (www.finra.org). Investment banking and/or securities are offered through Marlin & Associates Securities LLC. More information is available at www.MarlinLLC.com


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