Getty sold to Carlyle for $3.3bn

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The Independent Online

The Carlyle Group, the US private equity firm, is to acquire Getty Images in a deal worth $3.3bn (£2.1bn), as it seeks to capitalise on demand for online digital content.

Carlyle has agreed to purchase a controlling stake in Getty, the world's largest supplier of stock photos, videos and other multi-media content, from rival Hellman & Friedman. But the sale price accepted by the private equity firm came up short of its valuation of up to $4bn. Hellman & Friedman took Getty private by acquiring a majority stake in a $2.4bn transaction in 2008.

Its co-founders Mark Getty, the company's chairman, and Jonathan Klein, the chief executive, will roll over all of their existing shares under the new owners, as will the other members of the Getty family.

Eliot Merrill, the managing director of Carlyle, said, "We will harness Carlyle's financial resources and global network to help take Getty to the next stage of product innovation and global growth."