Stock photo powerhouse Getty Images Inc. will purchase MediaVast Inc., parent of WireImage, for $200 million in cash. Digital image provider Jupitermedia has also confirmed that it is in talks to sell itself to Getty for $9.60 per share. WireImage provides Getty with a substantial archive of celebrity photos and video, a niche for which there is increasing demand. Getty will maintain the WireImage brand and will retain its main photographers and executive staff. WireImage, along with MediaVast's Film Magic and Contour Photos businesses, will be incorporated into Getty's editorial arm, which accounted for about 12% of the company's 2006 sales. Speculation about the Jupitermedia sale caused the company's shares to pop 25%, topping $10. They have since retreated to around $9.35. Over the past year, the shares have ranged from $5.45 to $18.81. A Getty-Jupitermedia deal would give the combined company a 40% market share, prompting some analysts to raise the specter of antitrust regulation.
Sources: SeattlePI.com, TheStreet.com, Business Week
Commentary: Picture This: Getty Images May Buy Jupitermedia • Innovative Jupitermedia Set To Return To Web • Meckler Confirms Jupitermedia & Getty Image Talks [24/7 Wall Street] • Conference Call Transcripts: Getty Images Q4 2006, Jupitermedia Q3 2006
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Getty Images Inc. (GYI), Jupitermedia Corp. (JUPM). Competitors: Reuters Group plc (RTRSY), CNET Networks Inc. (NASDAQ:CNET). ETFs: PowerShares Dynamic Media Portfolio ETF (NYSE:PBS), PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (NYSEARCA:PEJ)
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