Shutterstock has agreed to buy press photo agency Rex Features

In a surprise move , stock photography giant Shutterstock announced today that it has agreed to acquire the UK-based press photo agency Rex Features for $33 million in a mostly cash deal.

Rex Features was the largest independently owned photographic press agency in the world prior to this acquisition.
Rex Features was founded in 1954 by husband-and-wife team Frank and Elizabeth Selby. The couple retired as joint Managing Directors in 2008.

Both Frank and Elizabeth are from Hungarian roots, and journalism ran in both families—Frank’s father Imre Salusinszky was editor-in-chief of Az Est, Hungary’s leading newspaper group based in Budapest, while Elizabeth’s father, Heinrich (Henry) Guttmann, was a prominent journalist and book author. Its collection holds more than 10 million photos with 7,000 new ones added every day.

Those images will join the more than 47 million images and 2 million videos available in Shutterstock’s collection (“tens of thousands” of new ones are added each week).

Shutterstock says it purchased the agency in order to “serve editorial and commercial markets even more comprehensively.” The company wants to make a bigger splash in the world of editorial imagery, “a new market for Shutterstock with significant potential and many opportunities,” says Shutterstock founder and CEO Jon Oringer.