Getty Images, the Seattle distributor of digital images and video, is transitioning from one private equity firm to another. The Carlyle Group announced today that it is paying $3.3 billion to buy Getty Images from Hellman & Friedman, the private equity firm that purchased the company for $2.4 billion in 2008.
At the time of that buyout, Getty Images had been a publicly-traded company.
“Getty Images consistently demonstrates growth, leadership and prominence as one of the world’s leading media companies. This partnership with The Carlyle Group reflects and bolsters our ongoing strategy, strong management team and the talent of our dedicated employees. We are delighted to collaborate with Carlyle, with its formidable pedigree and success, and take the business into its next phase of development and growth,” said Jonathan Klein, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Getty Images, in a statement. As part of the deal, Klein and co-founder Mark Getty will invest additional equity in the company.
The New York Times reports that Carlyle was bidding against CVC Capital Partners for Getty. Getty Images competes against Corbis, the digital image company owned by Bill Gates.