Tralee Man Sells Business to Getty Family
By Frank Shouldice, Contributor
June / July 2006
Jerry Kennelly, a Tralee-born businessman, has sold his library of photographic images for $135 million to Getty Images. Kennelly set up the company for $100,000 in 1997 and bought out the interest of venture capitalists six years later. The company, Stockbyte and Stockdisc, sells digital photographic images to publications and advertising billboards. Last year the company had sales of $60 million, capturing 10 percent of the world market for stock photography. When Getty Images made an offer for $135 million the former freelance photographer decided it was time to sell. “What we have proved is you can set up and run a big business from rural Ireland,” he told The Irish Times. “I’m going to continue in business. I’m Kerry born and bred and I’m not going to become a tax exile – I’m going to stay in Kerry.” His staff of 28 will be offered jobs with Getty Images in London, but the Tralee-born entrepreneur has cushioned the blow of job losses. He set aside a €5 million fund to distribute among employees. “We had to do something because the business depended on everyone working at their peak to bring it to this level,” he said.