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Getty family to wrest back control of their eponymous photo agency

Getty Family wrest back control of their eponymous photo agency

The Getty family have revealed their intent to purchase a majority stake in Getty Images from The Carlyle Group, bringing a decade-long spell under private equity control to a close.

Including a significant debt pile, the deal reportedly values Getty at less than $3bn, below the $3.3bn valuation made by Carlyle when it bought its own majority stake of just over 50% from another private equity firm, Hellman & Friedman, six years ago.

Under the terms of the deal, the Getty family will purchase Carlyle’s equity stake for $250m in cash while rolling over around $2.35bn worth of debt, with the private equity firm retaining an ‘ongoing financial interest in the company’s future growth’.

Getty Images was founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Jonathan Klein, coinciding with a period of immense ruptures throughout the media landscape as publishers increasingly migrate from print to online – with a corresponding decline in image prices.

Under its new old management, Mark Getty will become chairman with Klein stepping forward as deputy chairman. Elsewhere Getty Images CEO Dawn Airey will become a non-executive director and COO Craig Peters will ascend to the role of CEO.

In order to move with the times, the image platform has recently struck a deal with AI platform Cortex to automate the process of sourcing visuals for social media campaigns.

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