KKR and TA Associates have agreed to sell Fotolia to Adobe for $800 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2015. Based in Europe, Fotolia is a microstock photo provider.
NEW YORK & LONDON, December 11, 2014 — KKR today announced an agreement for the sale of Fotolia to Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) for a total enterprise value of $800 million.
Founded in 2004 by Oleg Tscheltzoff, Fotolia is a large global marketplace for royalty-free images, graphics and HD Videos. With more than 34 million digital images and videos, Fotolia operates one of the world’s most liquid content marketplaces and builds an essential link between the global photographer community and creative users of images.
In June 2012, KKR made a growth equity investment from its third European fund to acquire a 50 percent stake in Fotolia alongside Oleg Tscheltzoff and TA Associates. Following KKR’s investment, Fotolia invested heavily into the team, almost doubling its work-force, and hiring critical talent in the areas of technology, search, marketing and direct sales. On the back of these investments, Fotolia significantly grew its revenue base and launched more than 10 new countries.
Oleg Tscheltzoff, co-Founder and CEO of Fotolia, said: “Just three years ago, I was saying how proud I was to have an investment firm like KKR join Fotolia as lead investor. After two-and-a-half years of rapid international expansion, optimisation of our technology platform and hiring the best specialist talent, Adobe will now become a fantastic new home for our team. Working with KKR has just been outstanding. We found a nimble partner in KKR that immediately understood our technology and product vision and supported our global expansion with capital, operational resources and access to an amazing global network — exactly what one wants as an entrepreneur.”
Johannes Huth, Member and Head of KKR Europe, Africa and Middle East said: “This investment adds to the track record that we have been building: investing behind macro themes such as digitization, partnering with European corporates and entrepreneurs to build global companies and thereby offering our investors a strong return. I am especially pleased to see how the next generation of KKR London’s investment team continues to deliver outstanding results for our investors.”
Philipp Freise, Member and Head of the European Media & Digital Investment Team at KKR, commented: “This investment was about putting entrepreneurial capital to work. We believe strongly that the combination of an entrepreneur like Oleg with the financial strength, global network and business-building expertise of KKR can yield powerful results. This model of ‘grow and build’ partnerships works well and we believe we will see more of it in the future.”
KKR has comprehensive experience in technology and digital media. The firm’s most recent investments in this area include GoDaddy, Sonos, InternetBrands, BMG Rights Management (a joint venture with Bertelsmann), Scout24 Switzerland (online classifieds partnership with Ringier), arago and Mitchell International.
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is scheduled to close in the first quarter of 2015.
KKR was represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. TA Associates and Oleg Tscheltzoff were represented by Goodwin Procter LLP. Adobe was represented by Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Europe’s leading microstock photo provider, Fotolia offers over 34 million royalty-free images, vector illustrations and HD videos. Established in 2004, Fotolia strives to make high-quality, professional images accessible to everybody, starting at less than $1 per image. As a true international marketplace, Fotolia offers some of the world’s best images to a variety of customers – from large creative firms, press and publishing houses, to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Today, Fotolia has over 5 million members and is available in 14 languages around the world. For more information, visit www.fotolia.com or connect on Facebook and Twitter.
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners’ capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com.