Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) and Getty Images management announced today they have formed a partnership to acquire Getty Images, Inc., a global creator and distributor of still imagery, video and multimedia products, from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. 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.
Carlyle Partners V, a $13.7 billion U.S. buyout fund, will provide equity financing for the investment. J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets have provided committed debt financing for the transaction. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in 2012.
Four years ago, Hellman & Friedman bought their share in Getty for $2.2 billion. Not a bad turn around, provided the sale is approved by regulators (which it will be). Needless to say, stock photography is becoming more and more valuable (as evidenced by more programs like Foap and Scoopshot).