Getty Images to be Acquired by Private Equity Firm in $2.4 Billion Deal

dollar camera.jpgThis just in: Getty Images has entered into an agreement to be acquired by the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman in a transaction valued at approximately $2.4 billion, which includes the assumption of Getty’s existing debt. The deal will give Getty shareholders $34.00 in cash for each share of common stock, a price that represents a 55% premium over the closing price on January 18, the last trading day before the company announced that it was exploring “strategic alternatives.” Last year, the Seattle-based company had revenue of $858 million. The deal is expected to close by June of this year.

“Just over a decade ago we started Getty Images with little more than a vision and have achieved industry leadership due to the extraordinary talent, effort, and commitment of our employees and partners,” said co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein in a statement issued this morning. “We are enthusiastic about entering the next phase of Getty Images’ evolution by partnering with Hellman & Friedman as we continue to provide innovative offerings to businesses and consumers in a very dynamic digital media environment.” Well, “very dynamic” is one way to put it.

Hellman & Friedman’s other recent media- and marketing-related investments include DoubleClick, Young & Rubicam, Digitas, and The Nielsen Company.