Picture agency London Features International has been acquired by the investment vehicle of sports photographer David Jacobs, Imvest Ltd, following the company going into administration last month.
Jacobs is the founder of sports picture agency Action Images, which he later sold to Reuters in 2005 setting up Imvest Ltd earlier this year.
LFI is Jacobs’ first major acquisition, which he said is a fresh start for the image library, which went into administration following a law suit that was taken out for a potential breach of copyright by one of the contributing photographers.
Jacobs said: ‘It has a marvellous brand, I remember as a 17 year old messenger going past their offices in Farringdon Road, there was always a massive buzz about them. I’d like to get them back to where they were, which was one of the most successful music, celebrity and entertainment picture agencies.”
Jacobs has not re-hired any of the current staff full time at this early stage, and is employing them on short-term contracts until he can establish the “viability of the business moving forward”. He said: “At the moment we don’t know what the revenues of the business are. When I know that I’ll know whether we’ll be able to afford their salaries but don’t want to commit to anyone, which is part of making sure that we’re seen to be as transparent as possible.”
Jacobs said he plans to appoint ‘a number of well regarded industry specialists’to build on the reputation of LFI, and he aims rebuild relationships with photographers affected by the administration process.
He said: ‘We’ve come in to pick up the pieces and need to start the bridge-building process. We want to define ourselves uniquely by being transparent with our relationships with photographers. I think that’s something a number of agencies are guilty of not doing.”