This acquisition game probably never ends.
Only 17 minutes after Jupitermedia confirmed the negotiations with Getty Images about the possible acquisition of Jupitermedia, Getty Images, in a move to boost the growth of its editorial imagery business, announced that it is going to acquire entertainment and celebrity photo agency WireImage, as well as Mediavast, WireImages´owner, and the two other brands of MediaVast, Contour Photos and Filmmagic, for approximately $200 million - more than Getty had to pay for Stockbyte ($135 million) or for Digital Vision ($165 million).
Getty Images said it plans to maintain all of MediaVast´s three brands, WireImage, FilmMagic (high-quality celebrity, music, and fashion photography), and Contour Photos (licensing and syndication of high-end celebrity portraiture). MediaVast experienced an increase in revenues of 1442 percent from 2001 to 2005 and was recently named to be one of New York´s fastest-growing media companies.
WireImage itself, launched in January 2001, runs five subdivisions: WireImage Sports, WireImage News, WireImage Creative, WireImage Video and finally WireImage Entertainment. In October 2006, MediaVast closed the entertainment wire service DMI Photos and merged the brand with FilmMagic.
WireImage is one of the biggest distributors of celebrity and entertainment photos with an online archive of over 8.5 million images, over 2,400 photographers and about 230 employees. Getty says that WireImage´s founding photographers and key executives have signed long term agreements to remain with WireImage as well as Getty Images and will continue to generate new imagery for their respective collections making it available for online distribution both in the U.S. and globally.
With an increasing demand for more entertainment, sports, event and celebrity imagery, the fastest growing categories in the visual content business and actually the reason why Getty is acquiring the MediaVast brands, the company notes that the offerings of WireImage and Getty complement each other, like Exclusive by Getty Images and MediaVast´s Contour Photos brand. Getty´s rival Corbis direct competing service is Corbis Outline. Klein noted also that "the proposed acquisition of WireImage will enable us to develop new products and services, including podcasts, editorial video, multimedia, mobile, consumer offerings and exclusive imagery". Both WireImage and Getty Images have additionally licensing deals with the National Football League NFL (1; 2), among other sport asscociations.
If Getty closes both the deals with Jupitermedia and MediaVast/WireImage in the following weeks, it would need to spend an amount of money probably close to $600 million. Regarding WireImage, Getty estimates that the acquisition will be "neutral to earnings per share, excluding amortization, in 2007 and accretive to earnings per share on a GAAP basis in 2008".
More details here.
- WireImage and Major League Soccer Renew Photography Deal (Jan. 30, 2007)
- WireImage and Variety Announce Multi-Year Partnership (Jan. 16, 2007)
- WireImage to distribute prestigious Kobal Collection (Jan. 04, 2007)
- MediaVast, Inc., Parent Company of WireImage, Contour Photos, DMI Photo, FilmMagic and WINCreps, Named One of New York's Fastest-Growing Media Companies (Sept. 20, 2006)
- Newscom Partners With WireImage (Apr. 19, 2006)
- WireImage Brings SuperStock's Purestock Images To Worldwide Publishing Organizations (Sept. 22, 2005)