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.