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Jupitermedia Acquires Comstock Images

Looking to expand the premium content offerings in its JupiterImages division, Jupitermedia Corp. , the parent company of this publication, announced on Friday a $20.85 million cash deal to acquire New Jersey-based stock photography firm Comstock Images.

Jupitermedia said it would finance the purchase with a credit facility of up to $12 million obtained from HSBC Bank USA. The company is also arranging an additional $11 million credit facility with HSBC Bank USA to help finance the deal and other potential acquisitions.

With the deal, Jupitermedia snaps up a pioneer in the stock photography business with a significant archive of commercial stock images. Comstock markets rights managed, royalty-free and flat-rate images to business clients that include advertising agencies, graphic design firms, publishers and Web designers.

The Comstock purchase is the second major move by the Darien, Conn.-based Jupitermedia into the digital imaging space. Last July, the company inked a cash and stock deal to acquire ArtToday Inc., a network of paid subscription graphic-design sites.

The ArtToday network included Photos.com, ClipArt.com, Graphics.com, FlashComponents.com and RebelArtist.com. The company has since added those sites to its new JupiterImages division, which sells online access to digital images, clip art, animations, fonts and Web graphics.

With the addition of Comstock Images, Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler said the company is now one of the largest organizations worldwide in the business of selling stock images by single download or online subscription.

"The acquisition adds over 500,000 wholly owned stock images to our image library. We anticipate significant marketing and business synergies between Comstock Images and our JupiterImages division as well as our other Jupitermedia properties, Meckler added.