Hellman & Friedman bids for Getty Images

Getty Images, a leading creator and distributor of visual content and other digital media, announced Monday that Hellman & Friedman is buying it for US$34 a share, valuing the business which was founded just over a decade ago at around US$2.4bn.

The bid price is a 55% premium to Getty’s closing price on January 18, the last trading day before Getty Images said that it was exploring strategic alternatives.

“Our board of directors has thoroughly evaluated strategic alternatives for Getty Images and has determined that this outcome is in the best interests of our stockholders as it provides them with superior and certain value,” said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive of Getty Images.

“We look forward to working with all of Getty Images’ employees to realize the full potential of its traditional businesses while furthering the evolution of Getty Images into a global digital media company,” said Andy Ballard, an MD at Hellman & Friedman.

Financing commitments have been provided by Barclays Capital, GE Commercial Finance and RBS Greenwich Capital.

Getty Investments and certain related parties, including the co-founder and chairman, Mark Getty, who hold 15% of the company’s shares, have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction and roll over their shares into Hellman’s ad hoc investment vehicle.

Goldman Sachs is acting for Getty, while BarCap and RBS Greenwich Capital are advising Hellman & Friedman.