Haymarket buys Back Page Images; Getty up for sale

Haymarket Consumer Media has bought sports photo agency, Back Page Images.

The move follows last week’s announcement that Getty Images, the world’s largest photo agency, had been put up for sale, with a price tag of around £700 million. Some of America’s biggest venture capital firms such as Bain Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts are believed to be interested, with the disposal linked to the rise of “citizen journalism” and low-cost online rivals.

Last year, Getty Images’ share price fell by 47 per cent on the New York stock exchange and the company made a set of redundancies globally.

Back Page Images was formed in 2004 by photographers Javier Garcia and Jed Leicester, and has a team of contracted photographers covering all major sports from top-flight football and rugby to tennis and cricket.

It joins Haymarket’s existing photographic agency, LAT Photographic, which specialises in motor sport and motoring. LAT also operates Haymarket’s purpose-built studio facilities in Teddington, London.

Peter Higham, director of LAT, said: “For a long time we have wanted to expand our coverage beyond our motor racing core. In Javier and Jed we have found two like-minded and ambitious entrepreneurs who have already built an impressive business in a short space of time.

“We’re very excited that we can now offer a complete photo service across all major sports.”

Garcia said: “I am delighted that we have teamed up with Haymarket. This move will help sustain the growth of Back Page Images within the highly competitive sports-photography market.

“We’re looking forward immensely to the challenge of growing BPI’s presence with both editorial and commercial clients worldwide.”

The Back Page Images brand will be used for general sports coverage while LAT Photographic will continue to operate in its existing motoring fields.

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