The Carlyle Group, Getty Images founders and management acquire Getty Images for $3.3 billion

The Carlyle Group, Getty Images founders and management acquire Getty Images for $3.3 billion

There’s some pretty big news in the stock photography and video industry today after it was announced that The Carlyle Group and key Getty Images management figures have teamed up and agreed a deal to acquire Getty Images for $3.3 billion from current owners Hellman & Friedman.

According to the release, Carlyle will acquire a controlling stake in Getty Images — which was founded in 1995 — with the company’s co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and other members of the Getty family rolling all of their shares and interests in the company into the multi-billion dollar transaction.

Key members of Getty Images management will also contribute to the deal, including Getty’s co-founder and current CEO Jonathan Klein, investing “significant equity” into the company. Hellman & Friedman had acquired the company in 2008 for around $2.4 billion.

In three very similar comments from Getty and his management team, Getty Images’ new owners intend to take the company to “the next stage of product innovation and global growth.”

Hellman & Friedman’s Managing Director, Andy Ballard remarks that the partnership exceeded its expectations and “resulted in an outstanding investment for Hellman & Friedman. We’re confident the business is well positioned for future growth and success with The Carlyle Group.”

Carlyle Partners V, a US-based buyout fund worth more than $13.7 billion, is providing the equity for the deal, while J.P. Morgan, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and RBC Capital Markets have agreed to financing the company’s debts for the transaction.

Carlyle Partners V is one of five (surprise) U.S. buyout teams that engages in acquisitions, privatizations and strategic minority investments across North America. It lists the takeovers of CommScope and Syniverse Technologies as its most recent technology investments, both of which were completed in January 2011.

Both companies expect the deal to close by the end of 2012, following regulatory approval.

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