Chinese image licensing company, Visual China Group, announced Friday the acquisition of the image division and content licensing unit of photo library Corbis Entertainment. The Corbis assets were sold to Unity Glory International, an affiliate of Visual China, for an undisclosed amount.
“Unity Glory will own and manage the images and motion archives, names and trademarks associated with the Corbis Images, Corbis Motion and Veer licensing brands,” according to the announcement on the Visual China website. Seattle-based Corbis, owned by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, will focus on its “entertainment advertising business” and “will be rebranded in the coming months.”
The Chinese company declined to say if it would hire any staff from Corbis Images or if there would be any layoffs, the Seattle Times reported.
Visual China also struck a deal with stock photo agency Getty Images Friday that gives the New York company exclusive distribution rights for Corbis content everywhere in the world, except China.
“After a transition period, Getty Images will exclusively offer Corbis creative stills, Corbis Motion content and Corbis archival and documentary content to its global customer base outside of China,” read a statement on the Getty Images website.
“Over the coming months, we will migrate Corbis Images and Corbis Motion content to gettyimages.com where it will become available as new collections,” Getty Images said in an email to its customers.
Jonathan Klein, founder and chairman of Getty Images, took to Twitter to express his happiness at the roundabout way in which his company gained access to the image library of its rival.
Almost 21 years but got it. Lovely to get the milk, the cream, cheese, yoghurt and the meat without buying the cow. https://t.co/53aRceMJZE
— Jonathan Klein (@JonathanDKlein) January 22, 2016