Deals

European stock photography site Fotolia grabs $150M

Fotolia received a $150 million growth equity investment from leveraged buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. The company claims to be the leading stock photography site in Europe.

The full press release follows:

KKR Announces Growth Investment in Fotolia
New York, May 16 – Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (together with its affiliates, “KKR”), today announced a $150 million growth equity investment in Fotolia. In addition, KKR, TA Associates and Management worked with KKR Capital Markets and a number of relationship banks to put in place a $150 million senior financing for the Company.

Founded in 2005, Fotolia offers its users over 17 million digital images and videos. Fotolia is the leading microstock platform in Europe and is ranked among the top stock photography websites globally, providing a unique marketplace for photographers to sell their images. Every day, photographers and designers upload thousands of new images and videos onto Fotolia’s platform. Photographers receive commissions from each image that is licensed via Fotolia. Fotolia therefore provides a benefit to both photographers and buyers by protecting intellectual property rights and generating commission income for photographers, while offering quality images at affordable prices to its buyers.

Oleg Tscheltzoff, co-Founder and CEO of Fotolia, said: “After only seven years, this investment is a testament to our rapid progress as a company. We are extremely proud to have KKR, one of the largest and most reputable private equity firms, join Fotolia as a lead investor. KKR shares Fotolia’s philosophy of growth through innovation and will be contributing valuable entrepreneurial capital. Our new partner offers operational capabilities and a deep network that will help Fotolia accelerate its growth. The extensive worldwide network of KKR will enable us to cement our global leadership in the stock photography industry and further our goal of being the global source of inspiration for designers and buyers of creative content.”

Philipp Freise, Head of European Media Investments for KKR, commented: “We are very excited to partner with the team that has built Fotolia from a startup into one of the world’s leading microstock platforms with a strong leadership position in Europe. The Company has grown significantly since 2005 and has consistently demonstrated the kind of innovation and leadership that we look for in our digital media investments. Today’s investment is about fueling even more growth and fostering a new phase of development, to which we will contribute the whole suite of KKR’s capabilities.”

Fotolia received its first growth investment from TA Associates in 2009.

Jonathan Meeks, a Managing Director at TA Associates, added: “We have enjoyed being associated with Fotolia over the past three years and partnering with Oleg and his team to foster the company’s continued growth. We welcome KKR as a new investor and look forward to working closely with them and management to further build value in Fotolia.”

Barclays acted as sole financial advisor to KKR, while NOAH Advisors acted as sole financial advisor to Fotolia and its shareholders.

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