Reuters snaps up photo agency

Reuters has snapped up sport photography agency Action Images in a multi-million pound deal that adds more than 7 million photos to the news and information provider’s stock catalogue.

The acquisition of the specialist agency turns David Jacobs, who founded the London-based start-up five decades ago, into a millionaire.

For Reuters it enables an expansion of its picture offering beyond its traditional media client base into the commercial market, meaning it can take the Action Images brand outside the UK.

Moreover, the news and finance provider can now compete more effectively with Getty Images, considered the world’s top supplier of images, boasting a stock catalogue of over 40 million dating back to 1860.

The deal also signals a more bullish approach from Reuters, which has failed to make any photography acquisition in recent years, compared to Getty, credited with several.

“Bringing together Reuters world class sports photography with Action Images position in the editorial and commercial market is a really powerful combination,” said Monique Villa, Reuters global head of news and pictures, and now chairman of Action Images.

“It is an important part of the ongoing investment and expansion of our picture business, allowing us to reach new marketplaces and cement our position in existing ones.”

For Action Images, which has the FIFA and UEFA sporting bodies as clients, the acquisition opens up new multi-media opportunities.

David Jacobs, who will remain as managing director of Action Images, said the deal presents a “huge opportunity”

“It allows us to take our business to the next level creating multi-media packages for our clients and reaching out to a truly global audience.

“It really opens up the sports photography marketplace, creating a new alternative for publishers, sponsors and sports bodies,” he said.

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed.


22nd September 2005

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