Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group, along with Getty Images‘ current management and founders are joining forces to acquire the stock photography giant from Hellman & Friedman for a hefty $3.3 billion. Of note, Hellman & Friedman paid $2.4 billion when it bought a majority stake in Getty Images in 2004.
As a result, according to the release, 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 CEO, Jonathan Klein, will also invest “significant equity’ in the company.
Carlyle Partners V, a $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund, will provide equity financing for the investment, while J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets “have provided committed debt financing for the transaction.”
As is per usual, the transaction won’t close until it gets regulatory approval, which is expected sometime later this year.
While 17-year old Getty is pretty wide of the plethora of startups that are trying to disrupt the image licensing and stock photography industry, it is undeniably an institution in the space — for insight, watch our TCTV interview with CEO Jonathan Klein.
Perhaps feeling the heat too, the company has made a number of startup acquisitions of its own. Last May, it bought competitor The Photolibrary Group, for an undisclosed amount. And a few weeks earlier, it announced that it acquired PicScout for a reported $20 million.