Getty Images Acquired for $3.3 Billion by Private Equity Firm

American private equity firm Carlyle Group announced today that it has agreed to drop $3.3 billion to acquire Getty Images from private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. H&F purchased Getty Images just four years ago for $2.4 billion, so it seems that the stock photo company is doing decently well.

The original asking price by H&F was reportedly $4 billion, but after private negotiations amongst other private equity firms, none of them were willing to top Carlyle’s bid.

Carlyle Group won’t emerge from this deal with a 100% grip on the company, as they’ve simply acquired a majority stake in the company, giving it control, while co-founder Mark Getty and the Getty family will own the rest.

Getty Images, which has an impressive archive of 80 million stock photos and illustrations, was founded back in 1995 by Chairman Mark Getty — son of British oil tycoon Paul Getty — and current CEO Jonathan Klein.

(via Reuters)

Image credit: getty images by dead yaya

  • Steve

    I’m not sure the increased valuation means Getty is doing well. Private equity firms can pay themselves big dividends, saddle the business withe lots of debt, then sell it on for a profit. They win but does it make Getty any stronger? I don’t really understand the complicated financial arrangements but seeing another private equity firm buying them doesn’t fill me with confidence.

  • Richard

    Agreed. Glad I don’t make money from them… now to uncouple from them on flickr…