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Reuters – UPDATE 1-Carlyle Group To Buy Getty Images For $3.3B

(Reuters) – Carlyle Group LP will form a partnership with the management of Getty Images to buy Getty Images Inc. from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion, Reuters reported Aug. 15.

Carlyle will take a controlling stake in Getty, a distributor of photos, video and multimedia products.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Carlyle was nearing an agreement to purchase Getty.

Mark Getty, Getty Images’ chairman, and the Getty family will put nearly all their ownership interests into the deal as well, and CEO Jonathan Klein will also participate in the deal.

Founded in 1995 by Mark Getty and Klein, Getty Images has had to adapt to a shift in the media industry to online from print, as demand for images grows in an environment where prices for online use are lower than for print use.

Carlyle has prevailed over other private equity bidders, including CVC Capital Partners Ltd, according to sources.

Hellman & Friedman bought the Seattle-based company in 2009 in a $2.4 billion deal, with the buyout shop investing $941.3 million of equity. The firm appears to have since made back nearly all of its equity investment with dividends. The company paid out a $380 million dividend to Hellman & Friedman earlier this year, and a $496 million dividend in 2010, according to Buyouts and blog affiliate peHUB archives.

Bernard Vaughan, a senior editor at Reuters Buyouts, contributed to this report.