Announcing the deal, the current owner, private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman, said: "Carlyle will acquire a controlling stake in Getty Images, while Getty Images co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family will roll substantially all of their ownership interests into the transaction. Getty Images management, including co-founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Klein, will also invest significant equity in the company."
Hellman & Friedman managing director, Andy Ballard, said: "We acquired Getty Images in 2008 because we believed in its strategic direction, growth potential and ability to build on its leading position as one of the world's premier media franchises. Our partnership exceeded our expectations, and has resulted in an outstanding investment for Hellman & Friedman." (H&F has made a $US0.9b profit: it paid $US2.4b for Getty Images).
Market analysis company The 451 Group, hailed the deal as "another sign of growing interest in the digital media sector, and in Internet companies in particular."
It said the deal was "the largest Internet content and commerce acquisition since Silver Lake Partners and Warburg Pincus announced in May 2010 that they were taking Interactive Data Corp private for $US3.4b."
Getty Images was founded by Mark Getty and Klein in 1993 and has grown to become a repository of 80 million still images and more than 50,000 hours of stock film footage. It targets three markets—creative professionals (advertising and graphic design), the media (print and online publishing), and corporate (in-house design, marketing and communication departments).
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