January 2015

  • Client : Rex Features
  • Activity : Photographic agency
  • Sector : Media & Digital Technology
  • Acquired by: Shutterstock Inc
  • Transaction Type:

What our clients say

  • “It was a pleasure to work with the Cavendish team, led by Linda Sullivan. As well as displaying a deep understanding of our sector, they also made every effort to get under the skin of our business, which ensured that we were fully aligned from start to finish. In particular, I was hugely impressed by the way in which Linda conducted the process with a calm authority and professionalism...

    Mark Collier | Non-Executive Chairman of Dare
  • ”Linda Sullivan, James Ellis and the Cavendish team were excellent throughout the process and achieved a very positive result for the management and shareholders. I highly recommend them. Rex has an exciting future as part of Shutterstock, the NYSE quoted international...

    Larry Lawson | Managing Director of Rex Features
  • “Cavendish ran a very tight process and generated real bidding excitement. Opta is seen by Perform as a the missing piece in their content...

    Aidan Cooney | CEO, Opta Sports
  • “…Cavendish showed an intimate knowledge of the sale process from start to finish. They demonstrated technical excellence in a complex transaction and I had full confidence in their abilities at all times. I am delighted that the management team have found a partner that will assist with the continued development of...

    Victor Lewis|Major Shareholder of World Trade Group

Cavendish Corporate Finance is delighted to have advised on the sale of Rex Features (Holdings) Limited (“Rex“), the largest independently owned photographic agency in Europe to Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK), a leading global provider of commercial digital imagery and music.

Founded by Frank and Elizabeth Selby in 1954, Rex was the subject of a management buyout in 2011 led by Rex’s Managing Director, Larry Lawson, with the support of financial investors. Over the last 60 years Rex has established an international reputation as a premier source of editorial images for the world’s media. Rex is particularly well known for celebrities, personalities, news and features and, in the industry, is considered as the agency of choice for the coverage of Royal events around the world.

A team of 60 people based in London and Los Angeles and partner agencies in over 40 countries provide the capability for Rex to work around the clock to provide a daily service of news, celebrity, features and editorial content to professional clients in all media sectors.

With Rex’s editorial expertise and Shutterstock’s technical prowess, the combined companies plan to bring a comprehensive offering to market across both editorial and commercial content.

“The acquisition of Rex Features marks our substantive entry into editorial imagery – a new market for Shutterstock with significant potential and many opportunities to better serve global media companies“, said Jon Oringer, Shutterstock Founder and CEO.

Cavendish’s other recent noteworthy media and digital transactions have included the sale of Double Helix to Interpublic Group, Opta Sports to Perform plc, The Communications Agency to Communisis plc and The Planning Shop International to Omnicom, Inc.

Linda Sullivan, Partner and Head of Media, Digital & Sport, who led the transaction at Cavendish said;

“This was a great result for the shareholders and management of Rex, exceeding expectations on several levels. We ran a tight process, with significant international interest from both trade and private equity buyers. For Shutterstock, a NYSE quoted company, this marks their substantive entry into editorial imagery and they will retain the Rex management and team. The media and digital sector in the UK is buoyant and I am delighted that we continue to achieve excellent results for our clients and are able to attract large international buyers.”

Larry Lawson, Managing Director of Rex Features commented;

”Linda Sullivan, James Ellis and the Cavendish team were excellent throughout the process and achieved a very positive result for the management and shareholders. I highly recommend them. Rex has an exciting future as part of Shutterstock, the NYSE quoted international company.

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