Carlyle captures $3.3bn Getty Images stake from Hellman & Friedman


Private equity giant Carlyle has completed a $3.3bn deal for Hellman & Friedman-owned digital media company Getty Images.

The firm will pick up a controlling stake in Getty following the deal, with company co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family rolling almost all of their ownership interests into the transaction.

Getty said management including co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein would also invest significant equity in the company.

Carlyle managing director Eliot Merrill said, “Getty Images is the premier, digital global marketplace for commercial visual content.

“We look forward to partnering with Mark Getty, Jonathan Klein and the talented Getty Images management team.

“We will harness Carlyle’s financial resources and global network to help take Getty Images to the next stage of product innovation and global growth.”

Buyout houses CVC Capital Partners, TPG Capital, KKR and Charterhouse had all expressed interest in Getty, which was taken private by Hellman & Friedman for $2.4bn in 2008.

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.”

It is thought the leveraged buyout will require equity of around $1.5bn.

Hellman and minority stakeholders collected a $379m dividend from Getty earlier this year, and a $504m dividend in 2010.

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