Well, not exactly. The Investment firm MSD managed by Michael Dell, the founder of the famous computers, has acquires 185,000 prints from the Magnum collection. The sum? undisclosed. But it is rumored to be the largest photo transaction in history. The terms, also unclear. Magnum retains the copyright and the licensing rights.
So what did the MSD acquire ? Well, probably just that : 185,00 prints ranging from the the 1930’s to 1998. The prints will reside for now in Austin, Texas, Harry Ransom Center for 5 years. After that, nothing is known.It is certainly a well thought out coup for Magnum which has been struggling with financial issues for decades and avoided multiple acquisition schemes launched by the Corbis and Getty’s .
This will give them a financial security to continue to operate independently for a long while without losing their cherished independence.It is also great news for photography lovers. Not only Magnum escapes the claw of the greedy corporates and their notorious incompetence but there is a good chance this collection will travel across the world for viewing by even more people.
Finally, since Magnum is a co op, there is a very good chance the photographers themselves retain the majority of this financial downfall and they really, really deserve it.
PS : estimates put the deal at $100 Million. That is about $500.00 per print. Is that a good deal ?
More here at Bloomberg news